The fridge is a marvel of storing fresh fruit and vegetables and any food in general.
By restricting the bacterial growth, the unit can keep food fresh and healthy to consume for days, possibly weeks, at the correct temperature in the fridge.
After all, bacteria are the arch-nemesis in the storage realm, and a tidy fridge is a good and safe one. When food temperatures start rising more than a certain level (around 40 ° F), bacterial growth begins to multiply indefinitely. It’s not like these bacteria are bad— but not all of them are also healthy.
It should be prudent to keep the refrigerator cooled to the acceptable refrigerator temp for both the safety of your food and to reduce the chance of food poisoning.
Along with these, to follow appropriate recommendations for fridge upkeep.
Working of a Refrigerator
Out of curiosity, how does the refrigerator actually work?
There are five main elements in the refrigeration spiral: fluid refrigerant; a compressor that regulates coolant flow; the condenser coils (on the outside of the refrigerator); the evaporator coils (on the inside of the refrigerator); and anything called an expanding tool.
Here’s how they connect to cool off your dinner.
Cool right? Fridge Enthusiasts, did you actually know all these processes happened inside your refrigerator?
In simple terms, the compressor inhibits the coolant vapour, increases the pressure and drives it into coils which are outside of the cooler.
Hot gas in the coil reaches the colder kitchen ambient temperature, it transforms into a vapor.The refrigerant settles down in liquid form at higher pressure as it passes into the coils between the freezer and the refrigerator.
The refrigerant traps warmth inside the container, which cools off the air.
Lastly, the coolant disappears into a gas, which works its way to the pump, wherein the entire process ends.
What temp might a fridge be kept at?
Did you find that your milk got chilly?
Your fridge is probably kept at the wrong temp.
The FDA recommends the optimal temp of the refrigerator is less than 40 ° F; the optimum freezer temp is less than 0 ° F.
In reality, the optimum temperature of the refrigerator is lower: strive to remain around 35 ° -38 ° F (1.7 ° C -3.3 ° C). This variety of temperatures is as near as you can freeze without getting too cold that the food would freeze. This is therefore as near as the temp in the fridge would exceed the level of 40 ° F, at which point bacterial multiplication starts off.
Temps may be too high above the 35 °F and 38 ° F range. Your diet may be easy to ruin, so you should be prepared for any stomach issues with bacteria such as salmonella (and E. Coli).
Below are a few more tips I recommend to make sure your fresh fruits and veggies don’t get perished.
A food safety user at Stack Exchange advised, “I never trust an appliance’s self-reporting temperature; I’ve had enough ovens with hot spots to always be wary.”
“With our fridge, our crisper drawer regularly frosts and partially freezes our veggies, and with a thermometer I was able to determine why: it’s significantly colder down there than the 35° F the rest of the fridge is set on. By at least 5-8 degrees.”
As you may ask, how do you measure the temperature?
An affordable refrigerator thermometer can be ordered online or at any local department store. Place the thermostat in the refrigerator and leave for 20 minutes. Next, take a look at the reading. Were you similar to, or above the minimum fridge temp? If not, switch to the control panel at your refrigerator.
Sadly, not all refrigerated temperature thermometers are reliable. You can have your refrigerator set at 37 ° F but it still holds time around 34 ° F or even 40 ° F. It’s not unusual for fridges to be a bit colder from the target you choose.
Fill the fridge packed
“With an empty fridge, every time you open and close the door you cycle most of the air in it, replacing the cooled air with warmer air, which has then to be cooled again,” say fridge enthusiasts on The Naked Scientists. “With a full fridge, there’s not only less air to be cycled and re-cooled, all the other items that have been cooled stay in the fridge. The presence of many items in the fridge may also reduce the airflow, meaning even less air is exchanged each time the door is opened and then closed.”
A full refrigerator is a great refrigerator.
The same applies with the freezer.
Although you shouldn’t over-stuff the refrigerator
The temp of the fridge will stay cooler longer, and if the racks and storage boxes are mostly full, store food chilled better. Just make sure you’re not overcrowding the room and limiting the air. This can confuse passing cooled air and increase the probability of warmer air pockets.
Keep check on the air vents
To keep temperatures stable, air will travel unobstructed between both the freezer and the fridge. If you have ice in your refrigerator, ensure that there is no piece of bread pressed towards the vent, thus stopping airflow.
Stop too much opening
Whenever you open the fridge door, you let go the cool air and hence the hot air in. Resist the urge of waiting to open your refrigerator when you’re starving, hoping for a meal that can relieve your hunger pangs. Rather, get what you’ve come for, then easily close the door.
Learn about the coolest parts of your refrigerator
“The ideal refrigerator temperature is 35° F (1.6° C). You’re not hugging the danger zone like you would be at 40° F (4.4° C), and you’re distancing yourself sufficiently from 32° F (0° C) that you don’t freeze half the stuff in your refrigerator,” says an expert on Stack Exchange.
Have you tried experimenting? Do you agree with this?
He added, “That said, the temperature within your fridge can vary rather significantly with normal usage. The coldest parts of your refrigerator are the back, and the bottom.
The back because the cooling element is there, and the bottom because warm air rises. If items you don’t want frosty are getting frosty, then move them away from the back of the fridge.”
Leave the foods chill before placing it in the refrigerator
Hot pots of unfinished broth or roasted chicken will easily warm up the limited room in your refrigerator, placing the items at risk for rapid development of the bacteria.
To secure it all in your refrigerator, let the meals cool down a little until they are sealed and put in the refrigerator.
In conclusion, keeping meals well frozen at the correct temp in the fridge makes them survive better and remain tastier and fresh. Holding to the optimum temp in the fridge will also help you prevent possible foodborne diseases.
Try out what works for you and stick with it.
Most importantly, Stay Safe!