Understanding Fridge Temperature: The Key to Keeping Your Food Safe

If you’ve ever taken something from the fridge and discovered that it’s half-frozen or lukewarm, you'll probably wonder about the ideal fridge temperature. A fridge that freezes your tomatoes wilts your salad, or turns your milk into cheese is either broken or needs adjusting. Understanding the correct fridge temperature is essential for maintaining the quality and safety of your food.

So let’s jump right in.

What Is the Ideal Fridge Temperature?

Fridge Temperature

The primary purpose of a refrigerator is to slow down the growth of bacteria. The ideal fridge temperature according to the UK food standards agency is 8°C and below. However, taking into account the temperature drop from the opening and closing of the fridge door, your fridge should be set at a temperature between 1-5°C. This range ensures that food remains safe and fresh for as long as possible.

Understanding Fridge Temperature Settings:

Some fridges don't show the temperature in degrees but instead work on a numerical setting from 1 to 5. The numbers on the fridge’s temperature dial indicate the refrigerating power. The higher the setting, the cooler the fridge will be. For example, setting 5 will make your fridge the coldest. To measure the temperature accurately, keep a thermometer on the middle shelf of the fridge.

What Is the Ideal Freezer Temperature?

Contrary to popular opinion, freezing food does not halt the growth of bacteria – it just slows it down significantly. Initially, home freezers froze food at -10°C. However, freezing food at lower temperatures slows bacteria growth even further. Today, -18°C is the accepted standard for freezing food, which helps preserve the Vitamin C content in frozen vegetables.

Fridge Temperature

Why Is My Fridge Temperature Wrong?

Several factors can cause your fridge temperature to be incorrect. Poor organisation can obstruct proper airflow, leading to uneven cooling. Check the seal around the fridge door – if it's not fitted properly, cold air can escape easily. Additionally, a broken thermostat can prevent your fridge temperature from being adjustable. If you believe your fridge has a fault causing it to be too cold or too warm, it may be time to call for a fridge repair service.
Top Tip: Optimal fridge temperatures (4°C-7°C) and freezer temperatures (below -18°C to -21°C) are crucial for food safety and energy efficiency, requiring precise control and monitoring to maintain consistent conditions.  

Common Questions About Fridge and Freezer Temperatures:

Fridge Temperature

What Number Should My Fridge Be On?

The ideal fridge temperature should be set between 1-5°C. The exact setting may vary based on the fridge model and your specific needs.

What Temperature Should a Freezer Be?

For optimal food preservation, the freezer temperature should be set at -18°C.

How Cold Should a Fridge Be in the UK?

Fridge Temperature

In the UK, the fridge temperature should ideally be between 1-5°C to keep food fresh and safe.

What Is the Coldest Setting on a Fridge?

Typically, the highest number on your fridge temperature dial is the coldest setting. For instance, setting 5 on a fridge with a 1-5 dial is the coldest.

Chilled Foods Storage:  According to The UK Food Standards Agency that storing chilled foods at incorrect temperature is a food safety risk, as it promotes the growth of harmful bacteria. That would further disrupt the function of your fridge.

Maintaining the Right Fridge Temperature To maintain the correct fridge temperature, it's crucial to understand how your fridge settings work. Keep a thermometer in the fridge, ideally on the middle shelf, to monitor the temperature. Ensure that food is organised to allow proper air circulation and regularly check the door seals for any damage.

Understanding and maintaining the ideal fridge temperature is essential for food safety and quality. By setting your fridge to the correct temperature and keeping an eye on its performance, you can ensure that your food stays fresh and safe for consumption. If you encounter any issues with your fridge temperature, don’t hesitate to seek professional help to get it back to optimal working condition.

It's better not to attempt repairs if you lack the knowledge and expertise to fix an appliance. It's best to call a professional to check and repair the appliance for you.

For a quick response, look no further than Adk Kooling. Our team of refrigeration engineers is available 365 days a year and will be at your service within four hours.  

Get an Engineer Now!  

What Is the Ideal Fridge Temperature?

Maintaining optimal temperatures in fridges and freezers is essential for food safety and energy efficiency. The ideal fridge temperature is between 4°C and 7°C, while freezers should be kept below -18 to -21°C. Proper temperature settings help prevent food spoilage and bacterial growth, ensuring safe storage and consumption. Monitoring and adjusting the temperature settings as needed can also contribute to the efficient operation of these appliances.

Fixing it is also pretty straightforward. Here’s a video on how to do it:  


Spotted signs your fridge is about to die? It’s probably time to call in the experts. 

All sorts of little things can go wrong with fridge freezers. Some are very minor and can be fixed with a screwdriver or a quick clean. But others may require a specialist diagnosis and repairs.  But be warned: it could get you into trouble if you attempt to make the repairs yourself without the right training or know-how. It isn’t advisable, and it might put off some repairmen and women from wanting to work on them if the problem isn’t resolved.  If you’re living in London or the South-East of England and your fridge is showing one or more of these telltale signs of dying — then I’d like to suggest you give one of our specialists a call. Some reasons to consider us include:

  • Our engineers can get out to you in just a few hours.
  • Our call-outs are set at fixed prices — with no sneaky hidden extra charges.
  • We carry lots of spare and replacement parts, so it’s extremely unlikely you’ll have to wait round for us to order one.
  • We can guarantee a 90-day warranty on all our repairs

Find out more about our domestic fridge freezer repairs & get an engineer out ASAP.  

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