The ideal temperature for a refrigerator is between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit, according to HowStuffWorks. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sets the cap for a safe refrigerator temperature at 40 degrees.
The purpose of refrigerating food and liquids is to slow bacteria growth, according to HowStuffWorks. If a refrigerator is too warm, food may spoil early and be more likely to cause food poisoning. On the other hand, food may freeze if a refrigerator is too cold. While freezing stops bacterial growth, some foods do not freeze well, and their taste changes.
The FDA recommends keeping eggs in the main part of a refrigerator as opposed to on the door because temperatures are higher on the door shelves. The agency recommends cleaning spills and accidents right away to limit the risk of bacteria growth and transfer.