What’s The Ideal Temperature For Your Refrigirator?

So that you know when you reach inside your fridge and that leftovers who have in there have turned green and they’re covered with white wisps of mold, or when you look at the tomatoes and they look like a deflated balloon and they’ve got spores growing out of the top, obviously we’re all disgusted by this kind of imagery.

If we’re not, we should be. Well, luckily, we have refrigerators (even in our garage), which slow the growth of bacteria on our food.

Freezers will do you one better by stopping bacteria completely by freezing them solid. But we can’t freeze everything. Some foods like lettuce, milk, or eggs are less than appetizing after you freeze them, so there’s got to be some middle ground between freezing your food rock solid and leaving it out to rot.

So what is the best temperature to set the inside of your fridge at?
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Let’s understand spoilage better

Now basically microscopic organisms are constantly feasting on our unattended food items. And spoilage bacteria are fast and inevitable. They’re constantly consuming tiny portions of our food and then spreading their waste all over it. Yum. Well, that’s what makes rotten food smell foul and appear to be spoiled. And bacteria multiply, sometimes rapidly. So as long as nutrition and water are present, bacteria will be making babies, y’all. While there are many methods to detect bacteria, most of them take several hours, unless you happen to have an infrared light handy to trace their biochemical footprints.
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Even if you can find them, not all bacteria are necessarily bad. For instance, a certain degree of bacteria is necessary to prevent illness. Others are used by food manufacturers to enhance the taste or texture of their products. Bacteria in beer can control its calorie content for example. Or the holes in Swiss cheese, those occur when bacteria use lactic acid to produce bubbles of carbon dioxide gas that leave holes behind. And of course, there’s yogurt. That stuff has bacteria plenty, containing probiotic enzymes that produce vitamins, enhanced digestion and aid our absorption of nutrients.

But for the most part, visible bacteria and mold is a sign that food is not suitable to eat. And some can even be lethal, like salmonella and listeria.

What’s our best solution?

Using our cold refrigerators to slow bacteria’s growth without also freezing our food. Now the US Food and Drug Administration recommends you keep your refrigerator at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which is four degrees Celsius. Anything higher and the food will spoil too quickly. For the food that you could freeze, you’ll want the temperature to be about zero degrees Fahrenheit or -18 degrees Celsius.

And another tip, don’t jam your fridge full of stuff. You know, like leftovers, jams, Punky Brewster. This prevents the proper air circulation needed and can actually hasten spoilage. Now in the freezer, however, feel free to hill her up. Shove Punky in there, it’s fine. A full freezer actually cools more efficiently.
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