Maintaining home refrigerators at 40°F or below is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness for pregnant women and elderly people.
Refrigerator thermometers are tools that stay in the refrigerator and display the actual temps (separate from the temperature control dial). Almost half (43%) of observed homes had a refrigerator that was too warm (>41 °F). Just 4–9% of domestic refrigerators were observed to have a thermometer (that tells the temperature in degrees). Bacteria that can cause illness to grow rapidly in the “danger zone” between 40 °F and 140 °F. • The predicted number of cases of listeriosis would be reduced by more than 70% if all home refrigerator temperatures stayed at 40 °F or below. Keep the home refrigerator at or below 40 °F as measured with a thermometer. See the Go 40 °F or Below brochures, by the Partnership for Food Safety Education, for more on the importance of refrigeration to food safety!