What is the optimal temperature in the refrigerator
Different products require different temperatures for storage, but the optimal range is from +2 to +5 ºC. At the same time, the temperature inside the chamber can be different depending on many factors: how high the shelf is, how often you open the door and how hot the food you put in the refrigerator.
The coldest areas in classic refrigerators are the areas near the back wall and shelves closest to the freezer. If we consider a unit with a freezer in the lower part of the case, then the lowest temperature will be on the lower shelf, and the highest in the upper shelf. Therefore, products that need more coolness should be stored in such refrigerators at the bottom, and on the upper shelves – food that is better not to be frozen (fruits, sauces).
At what temperature should different foods be stored in the refrigerator:
- Fresh fruit: 5-8
- Fresh vegetables: 4-7
- Bread and pastries: 5-6
- Sauces (mayonnaise, ketchup): 3-7
- Sausages: 0-8 (depending on the type)
- Cheese: 0-4 (depending on the type)
- Dairy products: 4
- Ready meals and drinks: 2-5
- Confectionery, cakes: 1-3
- Eggs: 2-5
- Chilled meat: 1-3
- Chilled fish and seafood: 0-2
Detailed requirements for shelf life and storage conditions of products are described in SanPiN 184.108.40.2064-03.
Despite the fact that in fact there may be not one, but a whole range of temperatures in the refrigerator, many manufacturers suggest setting only one value – it will be the average for the entire chamber. We recommend setting this parameter to +3 or +4 ºC. Then on the lower shelf (closer to the freezer) it will be possible to store meat and cheese, in the middle zone – dairy products and ready meals, and upstairs – fresh fruit.
Another thing is modern devices with the function of uniform distribution of cold air inside the chamber. It can be called MultiFlow or All-Around Cooling, like in Samsung models. For example, the Samsung RB5000A refrigerator we recently tested uses an entire duct system to keep the top and bottom shelves at the same temperature.
Also, advanced models can have separate “freshness zones”, like the same Samsung RB5000A. This is a separate shelf (drawer) for storing vegetables, fruits, chilled meat and fish, which has its own temperature controller for setting a separate mode that is optimal for food.
What temperature to set in the freezer
What temperature is best for storing food in a fridge freezer depends on how full it is. So, if you like to fill the freezer to capacity, it is better to set the temperature between -20 and -25 degrees. If you rarely freeze food and they lie relatively free, filling about half of the chamber, you can set an average value of -18 ºC. It is also important to consider whether the refrigerator has a super freeze function. It usually operates at -30 ° C.
How do you know if the temperature in the freezer is too low or too high? It’s simple – it can be determined by the amount of ice on the products. If they are covered in snow, like the penguins at the South Pole, you can safely set the temperature higher. If, on the contrary, the packages constantly “sweat” and do not seem to be frozen at all, set a colder setting or unload the freezer to make way for air currents.
The shelf life of different foods in the freezer also depends on the temperature. With shock (quick) freezing, they retain useful substances even longer. Here are the values for the most popular products:
- Meat can be stored for about six months at temperatures from -14 to -18 ºС.
- Sea fish retains its structure at -18 ºС for 8 months. River fish can be stored at the same temperature for up to 6 months (GOST 1168-86 tells more about the storage of various seafood).
- Vegetables, fruits and berries retain useful properties the longest: at a temperature of -18 ºС they can be stored for about a year.
We do not recommend setting the temperature too low to extend the shelf life of the food. For example, vegetables, when frozen for a long time, lose their structure and useful properties, so it is better to use the recommended values and take into account the filling of the freezer.