Food Safety Fridge Temps. Pathogenic bacteria, the kind that cause foodborne illness, and spoilage bacteria, the kind of bacteria that cause foods to deteriorate and develop unpleasant odors, tastes, and textures. Use a thermometer to check your fridge and freezer temps.
The thermometer won’t be as exact as the sensitive thermocouples we use in our lab, but it should get you within a degree or so of the perfect refrigerator temperature to keep your food fresh. To speed up the cooling process for large pots of food, place the pot in a sink full of ice water and stir occasionally. When serving food at a buffet, keep hot food hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays.
Serve hot food while hot, or put it in the fridge or freezer as soon as possible once cooled (within two hours of preparation).
Normal refrigerator and freezer temperatures are important to monitor to make sure your appliance does it's job. Scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. This helps food cool quickly in the fridge. This is where the flames at the back of a gas oven or the element in an electric oven cook the food.