Ever wonder why some foods don't last as long as they should? That's probably due to the wrong temperature that you've set for your fridge! As we can now access foods from different countries, it also makes sense to keep them fresh in the right environment that they came from.

Unfortunately, very few refrigerators can display accurate temperature readings, especially those with knobs instead of digital ones. It’s always only an estimate, which might not do vulnerable products the justice. Thankfully, there are a couple of solutions you can try out for the different types of items that require refrigerating.

What is the proper temperature for a refrigerator?

That's a pretty common question to ask, but generally, it should stay at 4° C, provided you don't crowd your fridge with food. Doing so can restrict air circulation, and your food might go bad faster than it should. 

Unfortunately, very few refrigerators can display accurate temperature readings, especially those with knobs instead of digital ones. So, investing in an inexpensive free-standing refrigerator thermometer allows you to monitor and adjust the temperature settings of your fridge accurately. 

Before we get to that, you should understand that certain foods, drinks and even flowers require different temperature. Below is a simple temperature guide that will help you get the perfect one to keep your items fresh for as long as possible.

What's suitable for food produces like vegetables, fruits and flowers?

Although four degrees Celsius is the ideal fridge temperature, you’ll still need to adjust accordingly when it comes to different types of food. That will help avoid pathogenic bacteria from growing on them.

Fresh produce requires not only low temperature but also humidity settings for them to remain fresh. Leafy vegetables like lettuce and fruits should be stored in the crisper compartment of your fridge at a temperature of four degrees Celsius to stay fresh and moist for days. You might think that keeping vegetables and fruits in the freezer might preserve their lifespan, but that will take away their texture and taste. Keep the freezer for fish and meats.

Another thing to watch out for is Ethylene, a chemical emitted by fruits when they’re ripening; it can cause your vegetables to go bad faster. So, if there are ripe fruits in your fridge, you should separate them from leafy greens. 

Flowers have similar requirements for leafy vegetables. To avoid them from withering, they should be stored in the crisper at four degrees Celsius when possible. 

Preserve your drinks in the refrigerator with this temperature setting

What's suitable for drinks like beer, wine and milk?

Most cold liquids rise in temperature by about two degrees Celsius every seven minutes after they have been exposed to room temperature of 26 degrees Celsius. Beverages such as beer, red and white wine are best served at around six degrees Celsius at room temperature. Thus, to ensure that these drinks are just right when served, they should be stored in the fridge at roughly three degrees Celsius.

This temperature setting is best for most drinks to retain the coldness for an optimal amount of time. Tip: do not store highly perishable beverages near the fridge door to avoid constant exposure to the outside temperature.

As for milk storage, the temperature should be between two to three degrees Celsius to prevent it from going bad.

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How about the best temperature suitable for fishes and meats in the freezers?

The best temperature is -18 degrees Celsius for freezers as that's best for meats and fishes, especially if you're going to keep them fresh for an extended period. U.S.A's FDA recommends a freezer temperature of -18 degrees Celsius for safe storage of meats and fishes to prevent foodborne diseases, as well as retain their taste and texture; make sure they're properly wrapped.

Type of food


produce, vegetables, fruits and flowers

4 Degrees Celsius

beer, wine and milk

2 Degrees Celsius

fishes and meats

-18 Degrees Celsius


What’s the best way to measure your refrigerator’s temperature?

As mentioned, the temperature setting in a refrigerator is only an estimate. A thermometer is still your best bet to monitor your refrigerator’s temperature when storing different kinds of food. You can choose from sophisticated digital units with LCDs or get an old fashion mercury gauge freestanding thermometer. That will allow you to accurately measure your fridge’s temperature so your food will stay fresh until when you need it next.

More: Give Your Kitchen an Upgrade with these Top 10 Refrigerators

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