Scientists say 17% of us keep our fridge at the wrong temperature - here's how cool it should really be

Trending 6 months ago
  • Researchers opportunity that nan recommended fridge somesthesia scope is 2–7°C 
  • But 17% of households support their fridge warmer aliases cooler than this 

By Shivali Best For Mailonline

Published: 05:32 EDT, 25 October 2023 | Updated: 05:32 EDT, 25 October 2023

It's a staple characteristic successful kitchens astir nan world, but it turns retired you mightiness beryllium utilizing your fridge wrong.

A caller study has revealed that 17 per cent of america support our fridge astatine nan incorrect temperature.

Researchers from RMIT University successful Australia opportunity that while nan recommended scope is 2–7°C (35.6–44.6°F), almost a 5th of households support their appliance warmer aliases cooler than this.

Dr Bhavna Middha, lead writer of nan study, said: 'When nutrient is excessively warm, germs multiply excessively fast.

'When nutrient is excessively cold, it tin frost aliases get freezer burn. Both conditions lead to nutrient spoiling.'

A caller study has revealed that 17 per cent of america support our fridge astatine nan incorrect somesthesia (stock image) 

According to Wrap, 9.5 cardinal tonnes of nutrient is wasted successful Britain each twelvemonth - 70 per cent of which was intended to beryllium consumed by people.

'The nutrient that could person been eaten would make nan balanced of complete 15 cardinal meals – capable to provender nan full UK organization 3 meals a time for 11 weeks,' it explains connected its website.

With households known to beryllium important contributors to this nutrient waste, nan researchers group retired to understand nan domiciled our fridges play successful our nutrient discarded behaviours.

The squad monitored nan fridge and freezer temperatures successful 56 households.

They recovered that 17 per cent of nan fridges were warmer aliases cooler than nan recommended range, and besides recorded inconsistent temperatures crossed nan different fridge levels.

Some shelves were recovered to scope 10°C (50°F), while others dropped arsenic debased arsenic -1.1°C (30°F).

Some fridges were recovered to scope 10°C (50°F), while others dropped arsenic debased arsenic -1.1°C (30°F) (stock image) 

What's your nutrient discarded style? 

Warriors - 39%

  • Have debased nutrient discarded aliases debar it, and benignant it sustainably  
  • Tend to beryllium older, retired group who unrecorded successful small, adult-only households

Strugglers - 20%

  • Have precocious nutrient waste, and mean levels of sorting 
  • Tend to beryllium parents pinch engaged lifestyles, who are managing a family pinch children

Slackers - 41%

  • Have debased nutrient waste, but benignant small of it sustainably
  • Tend to beryllium young group who unrecorded successful mini households

'Our investigation recovered households successful wide are unaware their fridges could beryllium making their nutrient spoil faster, particularly if nan fridge somesthesia is warmer than nan standard,' said Dr Middha.

'Most households blamed their ain behaviours, specified arsenic reference nan use-by day wrong, earlier considering their fridge mightiness beryllium nan culprit.'

Things were moreover worse for freezers, which should beryllium kept astatine betwixt -15°C and -20°C (5°F and -4°F), according to nan researchers.

Almost half (43 per cent) of nan freezers tested were warmer aliases cooler than this range.

Based connected nan findings, nan researchers are calling for amended nutrient retention accusation for consumers.

'Many households we interviewed said conflicting accusation astir really agelong nutrient tin beryllium kept successful nan fridge meant a batch of leftovers and uncooked nutrient was discarded conscionable successful lawsuit it was unsafe to consume,' said Dr Middha.

'A one-stop proposal level for nutrient retention could beryllium a really useful instrumentality to combat each nan conflicting nutrient retention proposal that's confusing households.'

According to Wrap, location are respective different things your family tin do to trim your nutrient waste. 

This includes utilizing a information planner and swapping retired caller foods for stiff options which past overmuch longer.  

'By cutting nutrient discarded nan mean UK family tin prevention £500 each twelvemonth and positively lend to nan UK's discarded simplification targets,' Wrap said. 


According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of nan United Nations, astir 2.9 trillion pounds (or a 3rd of nan nutrient successful nan world) is mislaid aliases wasted each year.

Fruits, vegetables, roots, and tubers dress up nan most-wasted foods. 

In industrialized countries, this each amounts to $680 cardinal successful food. In processing countries, it's $310 billion. 

The mean discarded per capita successful Europe and North America is 95-115 kg, aliases 209-254 lb, ever year.    

The nutrient mislaid aliases wasted successful Latin America each twelvemonth is capable to provender 300 cardinal people. In Europe, it could provender 200 cardinal people, and successful Africa, it could provender 300 cardinal people.  

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