In commercial use, what temperature is set in a refrigerator used primarily for thawing? Because food keeps longer when colder, my home fridge is kept so close to freezing that ice cubes sometimes don't fully melt over-night. Using a thermometer with an alarm set for 40 degrees F, I thaw food faster in coolers, drawers, the interior of a microwave oven, etc. ... any small space where desired heat infiltration can be controlled enough the ambient air temperature stays in the safe zone.

  • Why do you think that restaurants have fridges for thawing?
    – Catija
    Mar 21, 2016 at 15:58
  • Do you really care specifically about commercial use? Or are you just trying to find out what's safe in the eyes of food safety agencies?
    – Cascabel
    Mar 21, 2016 at 17:27

2 Answers 2


Commercial thawing cabinets alternate between gentle heat and refrigeration. The operating manual for the Williams OT1 lists the heating cycle being +2°C/36°F and cooling cycle -1°C/30°F.


I ran a school tuckshop and cafeteria for some years.The safety point for refrigeration is 4-6°C/39-43°F. Freezers are kept below -17°C/1°F.

  • This doesn't address the question of thawing meat.
    – Catija
    Mar 21, 2016 at 14:40
  • 2
    @Catija I read that as "4-6 Celsius is the temperature that should be used for thawing". It would help if the answer was more concrete, though.
    – rumtscho
    Mar 21, 2016 at 15:48
  • Sorry, you're right, I didn't add that to thaw meat you should place it on the bottom shelf in the fridge @ 4-6 celsius. Also be sure that there is nothing below that can be contaminated or that the meat is placed in a container deep enough to catch any liquids which come from the defrosting. I hope that clarifies my note
    – Nette
    Mar 23, 2016 at 14:20

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