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What Is The Ideal Refrigeration Temperature? Here’s How To Make Sure Your Food Products Stay Safe.

thermometer in commercial fridge showing high temperatures image on the Due North website

What is the proper refrigeration temperature for commercial refrigerator and freezer units? It might not be a question that often crosses your mind, and you might just stick with the default temperature set by your unit on delivery and never give it a second thought. But knowing the correct temperature for your unit is an essential part of selling food safely and avoiding profit loss.  

What your refrigeration temperature should be 

For fridges: 40F, for freezers: 0F. It is that simple. These are the temperatures mandated by the FDA, so to keep your products safe, they should be kept at, or below, these temperatures. The optimal temperature for commercial refrigeration lies a little lower than what the government requires: 35 to 38F for fridges, and as low as –15F for freezers. Normal refrigerator temperatures that meet government guidelines are acceptable for non-perishable food items only but going the extra mile to purchase a quality commercial refrigerator or freezer will leave less room for error and ensure higher quality goods for your customers.

Minus Forty offers one of the few glass door freezers on the market capable of maintaining an average internal temperature of –15F. For a product like ice cream, colder is better, especially in a busy area where the door is regularly opened. Our high standards for cooling ensure that your product is kept at a consistent temperature throughout the day, which your customers are sure to appreciate.  

Maintaining the ideal temperature 

So, now that you have set your refrigeration temperatures to their ideal values, it is time to ensure that they stay at those levels. First, the basics: 

  • Ensure there is sufficient clearance around the fridge/freezer cabinet, at least 2” of air space on the sides and 3” at the back for all Minus Forty cabinets.  
  • Avoid placing your unit in direct sunlight, or under/near heating vents 
  • Place an appliance thermometer inside your unit to confirm the unit’s temperature 
  • Try to limit the amount of door openings or leaving the door open for an extended period 
  • Avoid loading an excessive amount of warm product at once 
  • Keep the unit full (leaving around 20% of shelf space open to ensure healthy airflow) 

If your glass door fridge or freezer is not reaching your desired refrigeration temperature, you can troubleshoot these basic issues before calling a technician: 

  • Double checking the temperature set by the thermostat 
  • Ensuring the power outlet is the correct voltage for your unit, and that the power cord is not plugged into an extension cord or loose 
  • Cleaning the condenser grille can be done by vacuuming or brushing the grille 
  • Checking the door gaskets for leaks or damage, as these can cause air to leak from the unit and impact refrigeration temperature 

Time between refrigeration 

You can never allow foods which require refrigeration to be at room temperature for more than two hours, or one hour if the room temperature is above 90F. Keep this in mind when you are loading product, and make sure to transfer your product quickly to combat food safety issues. Keep in mind that commercial refrigerators should be kept out of direct sunlight to maintain the correct temperature. 

Good practice in this area will prevent perishable product from entering the “danger zone”, a temperature range which can cause bacteria to grow to dangerous levels. The danger zone is the range of 40F to 140F, so your refrigerator temperature should be kept at or below 40F at all times. A quality glass door fridge will keep products slightly below 40F for increased food safety. 

How Minus Forty works to ensure your food is kept safe  

When you choose a Minus Forty commercial refrigerator unit, you choose the best the industry has to offer. Our quality standards, combined with our SmartLock and SmartConnect technology work in tandem to ensure temperature is always optimal and food is always kept safe in emergencies. SmartLock continuously monitors the fridge or freezer’s temperature and will lock the merchandiser when a pre-set safety limit is reached, which helps prevents further temperature drops in the event of a power loss or system failure.  

SmartConnect takes our commitment to food safety and product longevity even further, serving as the ultimate tool for monitoring your merchandisers. SmartConnect allows you to access information about your refrigerated merchandisers from anywhere in the world, at any time. It can also instantly notify and alert you by text or email, allowing proactive responses to temperature changes or issues. You can lock and unlock merchandisers equipped with SmartLock remotely, and even use SmartConnect to monitor your entire product stock. 

From anywhere in the world, you can monitor your cabinet temperature, door opening status, power failures, evaporator temperature, and more. This makes it easy to ensure that your refrigeration temperatures meet government standards for food safety, and SmartConnect additionally provides detailed historical data which can aid the troubleshooting process. 

If you have any questions on your Minus Forty merchandiser, we have a nationwide network of preferred service technicians. Our customer support is available 24/7 with a friendly team that can troubleshoot and quickly resolve any issue that you may face. 

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