What temperature is normal for a refrigerator?


Quick Answer

The ideal temperature range for a refrigerator is 35 to 38 F. Refrigerators often have warm zones and cool zones; 35 to 38 degrees ensures that food won't freeze and that bacteria doesn't have a warm environment to grow in.

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Full Answer

Refrigerators cool food for longevity and safety. At 32 degrees, items stored in the refrigerator freeze. Freezing can damage food, and it can make containers storing some liquids burst. Keeping the refrigerator at or about 35 degrees provides a bit of a cushion against freezing. At around 40 degrees, some types of bacteria, including some dangerous types, start growing much more quickly. A ceiling temperature of around 38 degrees provides a bit more protection against food poisoning.

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