What is the ideal temperature for the refrigerator and freezer?

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A refrig­er­a­tor, house­hold or pro­fes­sion­al, is designed to store food at low tem­per­a­tures to pre­vent the devel­op­ment of path­o­gen­ic microflo­ra and putre­fac­tive bac­te­ria. In the vol­ume of the refrig­er­a­tor, the tem­per­a­ture regime is set, which is favor­able for pre­serv­ing food for a cer­tain time. Let’s try to fig­ure out what tem­per­a­ture should be in the refrig­er­a­tor, what needs to be done for this.

How to set the correct temperature in the chambers

To find out what is the opti­mal tem­per­a­ture in the refrig­er­a­tor and freez­er, you should, first­ly, refer to the tech­ni­cal data sheet, which indi­cates the bound­ary para­me­ters of the oper­at­ing mode of the device, and sec­ond­ly, you need to focus on the type of prod­ucts and their place­ment inside the cav­i­ty. The entire inter­nal vol­ume of a house­hold refrig­er­a­tor is divid­ed into zones: a freez­er, a fresh­ness zone and oth­er com­part­ments. The dif­fer­ence between them is in the tem­per­a­ture lev­el: in the freez­er it is minus, and in the fresh­ness zone and oth­er com­part­ments it is low, but with a plus sign.

Refrigerator compartments

Freezer

The freez­er is designed for long-term stor­age of food, there­fore, a neg­a­tive tem­per­a­ture is main­tained. For each type of refrig­er­a­tor, it may dif­fer, but, as a rule, the range is ‑6ºС — ‑24ºС. What tem­per­a­ture in the freez­er of the refrig­er­a­tor will be most suit­able deter­mines the pur­pose of freez­ing.

Most mod­els have the abil­i­ty to adjust the tem­per­a­ture in the freez­er in incre­ments of six degrees, as evi­denced by the mark­ing applied in the form of stars: each star cor­re­sponds to ‑6ºС. Most often, the lim­it val­ue reach­es ‑18ºС, but there are also such refrig­er­a­tors in which it is pos­si­ble to set the tem­per­a­ture in the cham­ber to ‑24ºС for instant freez­ing. The low tem­per­a­ture in the refrig­er­at­ing cham­ber of the refrig­er­a­tor con­tributes to the longest stor­age of fresh meat, fish, semi-fin­ished prod­ucts, del­i­cate fruits and food prod­ucts that have under­gone heat treat­ment.

freshness zone

The fresh­ness zone is a part of the inter­nal vol­ume where the rec­om­mend­ed tem­per­a­ture in the refrig­er­a­tor is 0ºС — +1ºС. It is locat­ed, as a rule, in the upper part of the refrig­er­a­tor under the freez­er. The mode cre­at­ed in this place best con­tributes to the preser­va­tion of meat, fish and dairy prod­ucts, pre­vent­ing the devel­op­ment of bac­te­ria.

At the opti­mum tem­per­a­ture in the refrig­er­a­tor, the food does not have time to freeze and per­fect­ly retains its appear­ance and organolep­tic qual­i­ties. This tem­per­a­ture in the refrig­er­a­tor in some cas­es is favor­able for the rapid cool­ing of drinks, such as vod­ka, juices or cham­pagne, but can­not be con­sid­ered suit­able for stor­ing wines.

Other branches

All refrig­er­a­tor com­part­ments locat­ed below the fresh­ness zone have a dif­fer­ent tem­per­a­ture regime. So, for exam­ple, already on the sec­ond shelf the aver­age tem­per­a­ture in the refrig­er­a­tor is +2ºС — 4ºС. Under such con­di­tions, processed foods per­fect­ly retain their nutri­tion­al prop­er­ties: semi-fin­ished prod­ucts, con­fec­tionery, meat and fish prod­ucts, cheeses and sausages, eggs. How­ev­er, users should remem­ber that con­fec­tionery prod­ucts con­tain­ing dairy prod­ucts and ani­mal fats are not designed for long-term stor­age — no more than 36 hours. The same restric­tion is imposed on boiled sausages and fish prod­ucts.

Refrig­er­a­tor tem­per­a­ture in the next sec­tor should be with­in + 3ºС — + 6ºС. This com­part­ment is intend­ed for those foods that have under­gone high-tem­per­a­ture pro­cess­ing, that is, for soups, sauces, stewed veg­eta­bles, boiled pas­ta and cere­als, fresh veg­eta­bles and bread.

At the very bot­tom the refrig­er­a­tor has draw­ers: it is con­ve­nient to use them for stor­ing fresh fruits. In this part, the tem­per­a­ture in the refrig­er­a­tor should be above +5, but below +10ºС, since these are the con­di­tions that are favor­able for cool­ing and pre­serv­ing fruits and veg­eta­bles.

On the door in accor­dance with the zon­al divi­sion of most of the refrig­er­a­tor, there are shelves on which it is con­ve­nient to place pack­aged foods, drinks, eggs, dairy prod­ucts, canned food, cheese and meat cuts, and some types of med­i­cines (if such a require­ment exists in the anno­ta­tion).

Ways to set the temperature in the freezer and the common compartment

In order for the device to work prop­er­ly, and the food retains its qual­i­ties, you should care­ful­ly con­sid­er the process of set­ting the opti­mal tem­per­a­ture in the refrig­er­a­tor com­part­ment of the refrig­er­a­tor and in the freez­er.

The adjust­ment meth­ods depend on the mod­el cho­sen by the user: some­where it will be a mechan­i­cal reg­u­la­tor with marks print­ed on it, and some­where it will be an elec­tron­ic reg­u­la­tor with a touch or push-but­ton con­sole and indi­ca­tors. With the help of such reg­u­la­tors, it is pos­si­ble to set what tem­per­a­ture in the freez­er of the refrig­er­a­tor and in the main vol­ume of the refrig­er­a­tor will meet the require­ments for the best preser­va­tion of food.

Operating rules

Regard­less of the mod­el, you should strict­ly fol­low the rules for oper­at­ing the refrig­er­a­tor:

  1. Do not place hot or warm food­stuffs.
  2. Any kind of food must be sealed.
  3. Keep track of what the opti­mal tem­per­a­ture in the refrig­er­a­tor should be set depend­ing on the sea­son, the degree of fill­ing of the vol­ume, the mode of use of the device, stor­age con­di­tions.
  4. Fol­low the instruc­tions for defrost­ing the refrig­er­a­tor if it is not equipped with auto­mat­ic mode.
  5. Close doors tight­ly.
  6. Remove expired prod­ucts prompt­ly.

How to properly store food in the refrigerator

Thus, the answer to the ques­tion “What should be the nor­mal tem­per­a­ture in the refrig­er­a­tor and freez­er” can only be giv­en tak­ing into account the con­sid­er­a­tion of the fea­tures of a par­tic­u­lar mod­el of the device, the pres­ence of tem­per­a­ture zones inside the refrig­er­a­tor cav­i­ty, types of prod­ucts and their rec­om­mend­ed shelf life. There­fore, before plac­ing unprocessed, pre­pared or semi-fin­ished prod­ucts in the refrig­er­a­tor or freez­er, it is imper­a­tive that you famil­iar­ize your­self with the stor­age require­ments.

Video: how to store food in the refrigerator

The video pro­vides the most intel­li­gi­ble infor­ma­tion on the cor­rect loca­tion of prod­ucts in the refrig­er­a­tor and freez­er, meth­ods of prepar­ing and pack­ag­ing food:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE3PJyrt24s

See also: Rea­sons why the refrig­er­a­tor does not work, but the freez­er works.


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