The right temperature for your fridge
If you’re like most people in the UK, you probably only have a vague idea about the temperature of your fridge. Although most of us know we want the appliance cold enough to give us refreshingly cool drinks and chilled desserts, beyond that, the majority of people don’t know how cold their fridge should be.
As well as helping your appliance to run more efficiently, setting your fridge to the correct temperature will also help your food to last as long as possible. So if you want to reduce waste, save money and enjoy high-quality produce, you need to ensure that your appliance is set up perfectly.
How warm is the average fridge?
According to food waste charity WRAP, the average UK fridge is set at around 7˚C. Although this will chill your food and help to preserve fruit and veg, it’s well above the 0-5˚C that’s recommended by the Food Standards Agency. As a result of this extra 2˚C, millions of people could be throwing away bag loads of food every year – something that’s bad news for both the environment and the country’s finances.
Getting your temperature right
If your fridge is currently set higher than 5˚C, you may find that turning it down just a little has a big impact on the longevity of your produce. Cooler temperatures help to prevent bacteria from growing on your meat, fruit and veg. This can help to significantly prolong the life of your food and prevent ingredients being thrown away unnecessarily.
Products like milk are particularly susceptible to higher temperatures. If you currently find your milk is going off faster than it should, the settings on your fridge could be to blame.
Waste not, want not
According to recent research, the UK’s warm fridges cause the average household to throw away up to £70 of food a month. Although reducing the temperature of your fridge won’t stop waste altogether, it will give you longer to eat your fruit, veg, and meat, helping to minimise the amount you throw away.
As well as turning down the thermostat on your appliance, there are several other steps you can take to help keep your fridge cool. For a start, you need to ensure that the fridge door is closed at all times. If it’s not shut properly, cold air will seep out and the internal temperature of the fridge will start to rise.
It’s also a good idea to let hot food cool before it’s placed in the fridge. If items go in warm, they’ll heat the air around them and increase the overall temperature of the appliance.
If your fridge is old, you may find it struggles to maintain an even temperature. In these cases, it’s often better to replace the fridge with a more efficient new model to prevent food waste and boost the eco credentials of your home.
Our fridge recommendations, for good, better, and best: