How Cold Should a Refrigerator Be?

Updated February 21, 2017

According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, keeping the interior of the refrigerator below 4.44 degrees Celsius slows the growth of bacteria that causes foods to spoil. This keeps perishable items fresh and safe to eat for longer periods of time.

Food Freezes at 00 degrees Celsius

Food freezes at 00 degrees Celsius. Keep the interior of the refrigerator above 0 degrees C to prevent freezing. The University of Illinois Extension recommends keeping the interior of the refrigerator above 1.11 degrees Celsius.

Bottom Line

Set your refrigerator on the normal setting. Test the internal temperature of the refrigerator by placing a candy thermometer in a glass of water and sitting in the middle of your refrigerator. Allow to set for 5 to 8 hours. The University of Illinois Extension explains that the temperature of the water should read between 3.33 to 4.44 degrees Celsius for safe food storage.

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About the Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.