Maintain the proper freezing temperature by keeping the freezer at zero degrees Fahrenheit or below, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The recommended freezer temperature to maintain quality food for a longer period is between minus 10 to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unstable temperatures in self-defrosting freezers and other types of freezers may affect food quality, notes the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Avoid storing frozen foods up to the maximum recommended period if the freezing unit is not capable of maintaining zero-degree temperatures. The nutritional quality, flavor, texture or color of foods may still change even when the foods are stored correctly.
Maintain refrigerator temperatures ranging from 34 degrees to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, states the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Use a refrigerator thermometer to keep track of the appliance’s temperature. The essential factors affecting food quality are temperature and time.
Freezer temperatures preserve food quality but do not eliminate pathogenic or spoilage microorganisms, which can grow in warm environments, states the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The surface of frozen foods can become vulnerable to microorganisms at higher temperatures; thus, it is important to monitor freezer temperature regularly if the freezer does not have a built-in thermometer. Do this by installing a device, such as a warning light, to indicate when the freezer is not operating properly.