Bob Vila Radio: Regulating the Refrigerator Temperature

Follow these tips to make sure your refrigerator is functioning at the ideal temperature.
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Regular Refrigerator Temperature


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When it comes to meal planning, you definitely want to keep bacteria off the guest list. Maintaining your fridge at the proper temperature is a good way to do that.


Sure, modern refrigerators come equipped with sophisticated thermostats. Trouble is, they’re not always accurate.

To test temperature, head to the home center and pick up an inexpensive fridge thermometer. Position it in the center of your middle shelf. Adjust the controls on the fridge until the thermometer consistently remains in the range of 35 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that if the temperature drops lower—say, down toward 32 degrees Fahrenheit—food will freeze, while if temperatures rise to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, bacteria growth can triple.

Keep dairy products and eggs in cooler bottom and back areas, and condiments in warmer ones, like doors. Use settings on crisper bins to control for temperature and humidity. Greens stay fresh at higher humidity, while other produce, such as apples and pears, usually like it a bit drier.

Recheck temperatures every month or two to ensure the settings remain in the safety range.

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