The refrigerator temperature matters. Not having the right refrigerator temperature could make you sick. Used correctly, your fridge will keep food safe from spoilage and bacteria.
Used incorrectly, it could cause big trouble. Your refrigerator could make you sick. Which is why the refrigerator temperature matters. A lot.
The temperature and food storage guidelines below can help your fridge function at its best.
The refrigerator temperature needs to be between 34 F and 40 F to keep food from spoiling. You can't depend on the little gauge (1-5) in the refrigerator. Buy a refrigerator thermometer.
The refrigerator temperature matters because some parts of your fridge are colder than others. The meat compartment at the bottom of your fridge 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 appliance. This is the best place for nonperishables (sodas), not perishables (eggs).
Refrigerating foods helps keep them fresh, but they still won't last forever. Here are some examples of how long it's safe to keep some foods.
How Long It's Safe
The best advice when it comes to your refrigerator and food safety: When in doubt, throw it out. A little thriftiness is not worth a tummy ache.