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The optimal temperature range for the refrigerator is 34 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit to keep food safe yet unfrozen. If your thermometer reading is outside of this range, adjust the temperature settings to make it either warmer or colder, depending on the current temperature.
Kitchen Fact: The ideal temperature range for your freezer is 0° Fahrenheit or below (-18° Celsius or below). While many foods will freeze at about 32° Fahrenheit, they need to be stored at 0° Fahrenheit to slow down deterioration, so colder is better. And don't worry about freezer burn with really cold temperatures — it's caused by exposure to air, not temperature.
Keep your appliances at the proper temperatures. Keep the refrigerator temperature at or below 40° F (4° C). The freezer temperature should be 0° F (-18° C). Check temperatures periodically.
As long as the temperature is below 40 degrees F (18 degrees C), the food will be safe to eat (following these refrigerator guidelines) or refreeze. Once the temperature rises above 40 degrees F, the food should be thrown away.
Most foods will maintain good quality longer if the freezer temperature is -10°F to -20°F. At temperatures between 0°F and 32°F, food deteriorates more rapidly. Fluctuating temperatures, such as those in self-defrosting freezers, also may damage food quality.
Testing for the Ideal Freezer Temperature. The danger zone is the range in which bacteria in food can grow. The temperature range is 49 F and 140 F (4C and 60C) and food kept in this range for more than four hours should be thrown away to prevent food poisoning and other illnesses.