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What is the ideal fridge temperature

I have brought a fridge thermometer to check the temperature of a new fridge (Amica). On it's highest setting (7) it alternates over the course of about 90 mins from -2.5 degrees C to a max of 6.5 degrees C which triggers the fridge back to working as the temperature starts falling again. I just wanted to check that these temps are about right for a fridge and safe for food, milk, cream etc as I know most food talks about being under 5 degrees, and as mine goes up to 6.5, I just wanted to check this as the last fridge was problematic, hence buying the thermometer in the first place

Many thanks

  • I would think the fluctuations are a bigger concern than the actual temperature (if it would be steady), but I don't know. 3–5˚C is recommended by the authorities in my country. Lower than that, food might freeze. Above that, you get a short shelf life. – citizen Jan 20 '13 at 11:34
  • Did you measure those fluctuations with the fridge empty? I guess putting stuff in it will make it more stable (having more thermal mass will make it have more thermal inertia). – J.A.I.L. Jan 20 '13 at 13:30
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    I'm not sure how much this effects it but are you opening the door often to check the temperature? I used to have one of those indoor/outdoor thermometers and used it to check my fridge because then I didn't have to open the door and disturb the measurement. – lemontwist Jan 20 '13 at 14:18
  • @lemontwist while this will give you the temp of the fridge when at rest, it's not a real "working" temp since your going to inevitably need to open your fridge and often quite frequently. – Brendan Jan 22 '13 at 1:16