How to Use a Refrigerator Thermometer and Freezer Thermometer
Refrigerators are among the most useful appliances in our homes. In addition to cooling food, they can make ice, filter water and offer fancy ways to organize condiments – all while pleasing the eye with attractive stainless steel or slate finishes.
If you're concerned about food safety and saving energy (which, frankly we all need to be), then you should install a refrigerator thermometer and a freezer thermometer.
Food Safety – Why You Need a Refrigerator and Freezer Thermometer
The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) describes temperatures between 40°F and 140°F as the “danger zone” of food safety. In other words, this means they recommend the following:
- Cook food to at least 140°F
- Refrigerate food at or below 40°F
- Freeze food at or below 0°F.
How do you keep your food out of the danger zone? The USDA published thisarticle, which specifically recommends using a refrigerator thermometer in your home.
Energy Savings – Another Advantage to a Refrigerator Thermometer and Freezer Thermometer
The primary advantage to monitoring temperature in your fridge and freezer is to ensure you're storing food safely. An ancillary benefit is that it can help you cut energy costs.
How? Let's say, for example, you install a refrigerator thermometer and find that it reads 32°F. Since you only need to keep food below 40°F, you can see that your refrigerator is working harder than it needs too, and using too much electricity in the process.
To save energy, adjust your fridge's temperature control up gradually, but making sure the temperature always stays below 40°F. Since fridge temperatures can fluctuate over the course of a day, it's possible temperatures can periodically sneak into the danger zone. Therefore, it's good practice to check the thermometer at several different times each day before settling on a final temperature setting. Provided the temperature never rises above 40°F, your food will always be in the safe zone, but your fridge will be using less electricity.
Power Outages – A Compelling Reason to Install a Refrigerator and Freezer Thermometer with an Alarm
Let's say you're out of town for the weekend and the power goes out. By the time you get home, however, the power is back on and everything seems normal.
Unfortunately, you might have a fridge full of spoiled food and no way of knowing it. If you had a refrigerator and freezer thermometer with an alarm, you'd know.
Specifically, a digital thermometer and freezer thermometer with temperature alerts lets you know if temperatures rise above or fall below your preset temperature ranges.
If you're home when the alert sounds, you have time to take action by running to the store for some ice and putting perishables in a cooler. If you're not at home, the all-time high records will let you know your food was subjected to unsafe temperatures and needs to be discarded.
For an extra level of protection, you can take things a step further with an Environment System with 3 Indoor / Outdoor Temperature and Humidity Sensors.
Since this system is connected to the Internet, you can receive a text and email alert the moment your preset maximum temperature(s) is/are exceeded. This can help you take action, perhaps by calling a neighbor, friend or relative with access to your home. And using your smartphone, tablet or web browser, you will be able to see how long your food is exposed to out-of-range temperatures, enabling you to assess the likelihood it will spoil. NOTE: For an AcuRite environment system to continue operation during a power outage, you must use a power backup system with the AcuLink Internet Bridge and your internet router.
This article on Foodsafety.gov states that after a power outage, you have up to four hours to take action provided the fridge doors are kept closed. Once temperatures inside the refrigerator exceed 40°F, you have two hours before food must be thrown out.
As you can see, using a refrigerator thermometer and freezer thermometer can help you avoid consuming spoiled food, or throwing out food needlessly.
AcuRite's Line of Refrigerator Thermometers and Freezer Thermometers
AcuRite offers a wide range of products to help ensure proper food storage temperatures.
They're also NSF safety certified, meaning they've been performance tested to meet strict standards for public health protection.
Here's an overview of AcuRite's refrigerator thermometer and freezer thermometer products:
Analog Freezer / Refrigerator Thermometers – Effective, Economical and Easy to Use
All coming in under $7, these products are the easiest way to ensure safe food storage temperatures for you and your family.
The models in this range offer a variety of mounting options, allowing them to be hung on or clipped to the racks or affixed using included suction cups.
Digital Refrigerator and Freezer Thermometer with Alarm – Alerts You to Unsafe Food Storage
Thanks to its wireless technology, this unit offers some highly useful additional features. First and foremost, the wireless temperature sensors transmit readings to a digital thermometer display. The display - which can be mounted using included magnets, a keyhole or suction cups - allows you to monitor temperature without opening the fridge or freezer doors.
The refrigerator and freezer thermometer with alarm also offers a programmable alert that notifies you audibly and visually if temperatures exceed your preset minimum or maximum temperature range. This lets you take action to prevent food spoilage in the event of a power outage, or helps you operate your appliance more efficiently.
Environment System with 3 Indoor / Outdoor Temperature and Humidity Sensors – Lets You Stay Informed of your Freezer and Fridge, Even When You're Away
The beauty of AcuRite's environment systems is that they can be configured to suit the needs of you and your family. By strategically placing one of the wireless sensors in your refrigerator and a second one in your freezer, you can remotely monitor your food storage on a smartphone, tablet and web browser. You can also receive text and email alerts if temperatures exceed safe levels.
The third sensor could be used to monitor conditions in your home, or placed outside to take advantage of AcuRite's weather station capabilities. Or, expand the system with a 3-in-1 or 5-in-1 sensor, giving you a full array of outdoor and indoor monitoring capabilities.
Want to Learn More?
Proper storage temperatures is among the many things to consider when talking about food safety. If you want to learn more, the USDA offers a wealth of information on proper food storage and food handling with this article.