The Food and Drug Administration recommends that home freezers should be maintained at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid foodborne illnesses. Higher temperatures allow harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness to grow more quickly.
While food should be stored below 0 degrees F to safely slow bacterial growth, the University of Nebraska recommends a temperature range of -10 to -20 degrees F to maintain food quality longer. The FDA recommends using an appliance thermometer to verify that the freezer temperature setting is accurate and that it does not fluctuate above safe levels. Food that requires refrigeration should not be allowed to reach room temperature for any longer than two hours.