Not having the proper refrigerator temperature could make you sick.
Used correctly, your refrigerator will keep food safe from spoilage and bacteria. Used incorrectly, it could cause big trouble of the tummy kind.
Essentially, no food benefits from storage. You want to eat everything as fresh as you can.
But since we can't all tromp out to the garden to harvest for each meal, here are some refrigerator temperature and freezer storage guidelines.
Some parts of your refrigerator are colder than others. The meat compartment at the bottom is designed to store meat - so keep it there. Not only is this the coldest area, but if the package leaks, it won't contaminate other foods. The door is the warmest part of the refrigerator. This is the best place for nonperishables (sodas), not perishables (eggs).
To keep food from spoiling, the refrigerator temperature needs to be between 34 and 40 degrees F. You can't depend on the little gauge (1-5) in the refrigerator.You need to have a refrigerator thermometer. Ditto for the freezer temperature, which should be kept at 0 to 5 degrees F.
Freezing food will keep it from spoiling, but quality will still deteriorate over time. Use frozen foods as soon as possible, and follow these guidelines:
Refrigerating foods helps keep them fresh, but they still won't last forever. Here are a few examples of how long it's safe to keep some foods.
How Long It's Safe
Best advice when it comes to your refrigerator and food safety: When in doubt, throw it away. A little thriftiness is not worth a tummy ache.