Your Refrigerator and Freezer: Take Their Temperature!

It's common to assume that your refrigerator's temperature control dial keeps food cold enough--but this isn't necessarily true.  "Built-in" temperature control dials may not be effective, and if your refrigerator isn't cooling to 37° F or below, you're providing a haven for bacteria to grow.

  • Instead, use a separate appliance thermometer to check the internal refrigerator temperature and help keep food safe.  They are available in grocery, hardware, and kitchen specialty stores.
  • If the refrigerator thermometer shows a temperature that's too high (above 37° F), adjust the refrigerator's control dial.
  • Use the thermometer to check the freezer, too.  It should read 0° F or below.  If not, adjust the dial.

(Source: United States Department of Agriculture)