refrigerator thermometer

Did you know bacteria multiplies on refrigerated food at 40 degrees? Your refrigerator could be making you sick.

Foodborne pathogens sicken 48 million Americans a year. 3,000 people die annually from foodborne pathogens.

Most people don't know the temperature inside their refrigerator or freezer. Even the most modern refrigerators don't have thermometers inside.

The Health Department will fail a restaurant for not having appliance thermometers inside refrigerators and freezers. Why should your kitchen be any less safe than your favorite restaurants?

The ideal temperature for refrigerators is between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Freezers should be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Appliance thermometers

The best way to monitor the temperature inside your refrigerator is by placing inexpensive freestanding thermometers in your fridge and in your freezer.

The thermometer in your refrigerator should be placed away from the back near the top since the back is coldest and warm air rises.

A happy fridge is a filled fridge

Filling your fridge with food helps to maintain the cold temperature and conserve energy when opening/closing the door.

However, do not overpack the refrigerator because cold air can't circulate freely around the food. Items like milk, eggs and meat should be placed near the back where the cooling elements are.

Never place eggs or milk in the door where the temperatures are highest.

Remember that refrigeration doesn't destroy bacterial pathogens or other microorganisms in food. Pathogenic organisms are present on all food, vegetables, and fresh squeezed juice. Cold temperatures only slows down bacterial growth.

Food storage times

You should discard cooked meat such as fried chicken or turkey after 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Raw uncooked meat lasts 2 days in the fridge. After that it should be cooked or discarded. Raw meat can be frozen for 9 months (pieces) to 1 year (whole bird).

Click here for FDA recommended home-refrigerator food storage times.

Never eat cooked food that was left out overnight. Some bacteria survive the cooking process and multiply rapidly at room temperature.

Never rely on smell or taste as indicators of food spoilage. Bacterial pathogens on food are different from spoilage microorganisms that cause food to go bad.

Store leftovers in the fridge in covered containers or Ziploc bags. Check the expiration date on your food and discard if the date is expired. If you're not sure whether food is past expiration: when in doubt throw it out.

Refrigerate groceries quickly

Put your groceries in the refrigerator as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Never leave perishable items to sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Bacteria multiply rapidly at room temperature.

If you took an item out of the cooler at the grocery store it should go in your fridge or freezer.

Most American juice such as Mott's Apple juice contain loads of preservatives and do not have to be refrigerated.

But organic, fresh squeezed juice that do not contain preservatives must be refrigerated. Always read the package label to determine if food should be refrigerated or frozen before preparing.

Thaw food safely

Never thaw meats on the counter at room temperature. The FDA suggests 3 ways to thaw food safely: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in the microwave.

Keep raw food separate from ready-to-eat food.

Cook food thoroughly to a safe temperature. Use a food thermometer to be sure.

Cleaning tips

Always wash your hands before preparing food.

Always clean kitchen surfaces after preparing food.

Clean the inside of your refrigerator often with Clorox Cleanup or a solution of hot water and vinegar. Obviously remove the food first before you clean.

Click here for 10 tips on cleaning your refrigerator.

This has been your Medical Minute

DISCLAIMER

Any medical information published on this blog is for your general information only and is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice. You should not take any action before consulting with your personal physician or a health care provider. Sandrarose.com and its affiliates cannot be held liable for any damages incurred by following information found on this blog.

Stock photo by © Lee Serenethos/Getty Images

  • Tlowe89

    I had to take a class about this stuff when I got a second job at a grocery store.

  • Buttercup

    Never thaw meats on the counter at room temperature. The FDA suggests 3 ways to thaw food safely: ... in the microwave.
    =====================
    *barf*

  • Araminta Glissade Chaines

    Good info

  • Incog-knee-gress

    Never thaw meats on the counter at room temperature. The FDA suggests 3 ways to thaw food safely: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in the microwave.
    ^^^
    Never almost felt like I was gonna die eating meat thawed on outside on counter. My mom and hers too have done this for damn decades.

    I have almost died eating some thawed in a microwave on "defrost ".

    So thanks but Foh.?

  • Incog-knee-gress

    Really. +1

  • Wuts got Petty Davis Eyes..

    You forgot about Baking Soda..to keep your food tasting like food instead of fridge...it absorbs odor...so your butter don't taste like onions etc.. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/68bc52b2a4f54f3dc0d4dea29ec0c12c203c19b65d4d18beb2fbbd13d0be6a55.gif

  • Darkandlovely617?

    Happy Monday ?

  • Wuts got Petty Davis Eyes..

    That is the grossest..It will make the meat tough! But I did learn a quick thaw from Alton Brown's show..He put his meat in real cool water in a large bowl filled it to the rim and then let cold water drizzle into the bowl the old water flows out and I usually have thawed meat in 30 or so minutes..

  • Incog-knee-gress

    I also almost killed myself and my kids and ex husband via the sense of smell, once by thawing some ground beef in microwave and then forgetting about it. He came home with pizza. My ass forgot about the meat. Next morning he takes out trash. We pack up car and roll to the beach. For 3 days. Damn meat sat in there and damn it when we got back it was fukkin AWFUL. So thanks again. Just saying no to microwave thawing personally

  • Incog-knee-gress

    I do this as well.

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/AMarieNaturals Lovezoe

    Who thawing meat in the microwave.

  • MissHarlem

    I skimmed the write up but if it's not in cold water, or in the fridge after I take it out the freezer or just plain counter because I didn't get it together it's not happening.

  • Incog-knee-gress

    My dumb ass was til I learnt better

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/AMarieNaturals Lovezoe

    I do this. Especially with my shrimp.

  • SweetsJunkie

    Thanks for always keeping us informed, whether it's gossip or our health. I just had to go back and re-read the Love vs. Dopamine post from 2012. I didn't know if I was going crazy or just becoming desperate, lol. Then I realized it's the dopamine that's trying to make me become a thot at 40.

  • Buttercup

    Defrosting in the microwave partially cooks the meat. Cool water works like a charm each and every time.

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/AMarieNaturals Lovezoe

    Was your stomach turnt. ?

  • Incog-knee-gress

    Hell yes

  • Araminta Glissade Chaines

    I have homegirl who does it, but I never have.

  • Scromes1212

    I don't know if anybody on here has ever had food poisoning but death can't feel much worse.

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/AMarieNaturals Lovezoe

    I don't think I ever had food poisonin. BUT, after I had Zoe4, I contracted norivirus from the hospital. LAWD, I thought that was it for me.

  • VernadineTheQueen?

    Great post!! I'm digging it!

  • pecancandy

    I am all for health clean food prep but...........My mamma put the frozen meat in the sink before she went to bed. Cooked the food mid morning, left food in pot on stove all day. Guess what we all lived to tell about it.

  • Incog-knee-gress

    All of this here

  • Buttercup

    I've had it twice: once from Chick-Fil-A when I was in 4th grade (I wouldn't touch it for a solid 5 years afterwards) and once from Krystal. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

  • Araminta Glissade Chaines

    My daddy had it once, and he was like caint nobody tell me I aint finna leave here

  • Tlowe89

    I've had food poisening. It's the worst situation I've ever been in physically. It felt like all of my body just didn't want to corporate or function. Properly.

  • Incog-knee-gress

    It says nothing about thawing meat in the trunk of a dumbass person car or someones mailbox in 75 or above degree heat. I wonder why.

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/AMarieNaturals Lovezoe

    I would cry if I got it from CFA.

  • Buttercup

    The dry heaves are the worst. Your body is trying to rid itself of the bacteria, but you physically have nothing more to give.

  • Araminta Glissade Chaines

    I had it when pregnant with Arm 14 from a Chinese place. And a couple yrs ago from Cracker Barrel. I aint had either since.

  • SweetsJunkie

    I have, from the hibachi grill at a Asian restaurant. Never again.

  • Buttercup

    I was young and didn't realize that my nuggets weren't "soggy," they weren't fully cooked. I'm old enough to know better now.

  • Wuts got Petty Davis Eyes..

    *whispers* me too...it has turned me into a dopafiend...lol

  • Scromes1212

    I haven't ate a papa John's pizza in 12 years! That's easily the most pain I ever experienced.

  • Araminta Glissade Chaines

    It's got to be a story behind this post....

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    I got sick after eating chick Gil a once. I got constpated then couldn't stop going to having spasms in my rectum.

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    ????

  • Tlowe89

    Omg love chick fil a. Was there this weekend, I was tripping out bcus there was some guy in the inside strumming a guitar with 2 cows sitting beside him. But anyway I would be debistated. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a7ff009fdc1eaa4f97d20fbb62d0bc3b53a7c77dde236a1a50f71bccc64bfd17.jpg

  • Scromes1212

    But that ride to the hospital! And the waiting room! It helped me understand that scene in aliens when he had the baby alien in his stomach lol

  • leapyearpisces

    I got food poison when I was 16 while I was working at Taco Bell. I wanted GOD to take me...even given birth to twins and being in the hospital basically almost everyday of the 7 months out of the 8 months I was pregnant with them, I will take that OVER food poison ANY day.....ANY day....I was BEGGING my parents and the doctors to take me out of my misery....

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    I thought I was food poisoned only to find out I was allergic to a certain shell fish... Dear god I thought I was freaking dying ... I can't eat muscles or oysters ....? that shyt damn near killed me ... chile ?

  • Buttercup
  • Scromes1212

    I'm a man so I'm curious. Is it worst then natural birth? Honestly?

  • goat

    Hey, that Mott's Apple juice is good asf, preservatives and all.

  • Readytochokemothernatureonout

    Great info to know. Have a beautiful day beautiful roses.

  • Renee Bee

    Bwahahaha. I wish I could've seen that. Oh I lub Chick Fil-A.

  • leapyearpisces

    I don't know anything about natural birth. I had a C-section, and at least with everything I was going through when I was pregnant with the twins, I was getting GOOD PAIN meds.....that episode I went through with food poison, they would not give me any meds for pain.

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/AMarieNaturals Lovezoe

    Because that's the best way lol

  • Renee Bee

    Be strong, Sistah!

  • Scromes1212

    You and every white person in the south lol parking lot be looking like a baby Wal-Mart.

  • Tlowe89

    I stayed with my aunt 2 yrs ago and she did the most unsanitary thing I've ever seen with my 2 eyes. She decided to dump her left over Chinese food down the garbage disposal in the sink. It was too much food for it to handle and me and my cousin told her not to. She just protested and said thats what it's for. No woman you've never put that much food in their before, bcus that what the trash is for. So of course it got stopped up. She goes and get the plunger out that bathroom and goes to town on that sink. Me and my cousin look at each other like we're about to vomit. I said you know that plunger is been in the toilet at some point in time?. Now ur putting it in your sink where we put out dishes at, which by the way we eat off of. Me and my cousin at fast food for like 2 weeks straight. We cleaned the heck out of that sink with bleach once we got broke

  • Tlowe89

    Lol. I'm not white, I'm black. I just love me some chick fil a. I sent the pic to my brother in law and asked whose that with standing outside. He laughed and told me to stfu

  • leapyearpisces

    Right!!!! That was the WORST part. When THERE was nothing MORE to give....that is when I wanted to be laid to rest....

  • Scromes1212

    Then they got the nerve to not be open on Sundays. Smh

  • Tlowe89

    I know the employee love that. But I've driven to Chic Fil A twice on a Sunday and been like wtf. And then I get sad because I have no idea what I'm going to eat now.?

  • Incog-knee-gress

    I got food poisioned at the old Wendy's at the corner of Highwoods and Capital Blvd around same age. Its a Dunkin Donuts there now. Me, Dub21 dad, and his sister and her homegirl. Leaving the damn Skate Ranch. We stopped by there got food and went to Wendell for the weekend bc their parents were gone. Had HUGE plans to party ALL weekend. And we was sick as 15 dogs the whole weekend. All four of us. I always chalked it up to that is what my black ass get for lying to my mama.

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/AMarieNaturals Lovezoe

    Did you get food poisoning over the weekend, Sandy?

  • http://www.pureromance.com LA

    I never had food poisoning, but experienced natural child birth twice... I thought I would never survive it... Worst pain ever!!!

  • Buttercup

    The doughnuts are always fresh... hot light fresh.

  • Incog-knee-gress

    My mamma put the frozen meat in the sink before she went to bed.
    ^^^^^^^
    SweaterJesus to all of this. Especially this part.

  • Scromes1212

    Lol you see them 3 cars in the parking lot and think maybe this one is open on Sundays lol. Only to get disappointed lol

  • Incog-knee-gress

    With glaze

  • Incog-knee-gress

    I would damn it roll over. I eat the Chick once a week if not more.

  • Tlowe89

    Lol that's so true

  • n1kk1a

    Yes. Contractions are just muscle spasms that come and go. Food poisoning feels like you swallowed glass and razors with a bottle of lemon juice. It has to run its course, it can last a few (steady) hours, or whole day. I gave birth to twins as well. I would also take that over food poisoning.

  • leapyearpisces

    That is interesting Jenie, because my daughter is allergic to shellfish, however she is only allergic to certain shellfish and it happens to be the ones that are LITERALLY in the shell...like oysters, mussels, clams, and shrimp. However she can eat lobster, and crabs octopus, etc. Until now, I never heard of anyone but her being allergic to certain shellfish.

  • klwbaby

    I had food poisoning from Burger King and if that wasn't enough it was during a heatwave....

  • Libra80sBaby

    If I need my frozen chicken to thaw quick..I put in bowl with cool water and salt. Salt eats up the ice....and no it does not make the chicken salty...lol

  • Scromes1212

    Those are the two most painful things I've been told about. But I'm just trying to see if it's a comparison.

  • leapyearpisces

    LOL @ lying, but for those who have never experienced it, should consider themselves blessed and pray they NEVER experience it...It's nothing like it...I can still remember all the events of that day, I wanted my daddy to take me out back and "put me down"...

  • Scromes1212

    I can never have a baby. But I have a deep respect for those who do. But food poisoning, that was like death! And I was hurt that nobody ever explained that pain to me!

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/AMarieNaturals Lovezoe

    Them spicy chicken sandwiches whew

  • leapyearpisces

    The only bad part with me was that the first 4 months (16 weeks) of my pregnancy, I had something called hyperemesis, which was like having food poison everyday. I went from 125 to 75 pounds in a matter of like 6 weeks, but ONCE again, I was getting good drugs and care.

  • Scromes1212

    So agree lol I remember everything about that day! Who took me to the hospital. Who was at the hospital. The doctor. What they gave me. What I ate the day before. Not a good day smh

  • harley_quinn2.0

    I never got food poisoning (knocks on wood) but I hear it's nothing pretty.

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/AMarieNaturals Lovezoe

    I had that too. Not that bad though.

  • Scromes1212

    But it keeps the sodium.

  • Tlowe89

    It's like you have no control over ur body. My head was throbbing too from it. I had chills along with the other unmentionable side effects. Your stomach feels beyond sour and there nothing that can help. It's just like.... idk.... there nothing to describe it but pure nastiness. I would never wish that on anyone. If I had to wish either food poisening or death on someone, death would be an honor. Lol.

  • harley_quinn2.0

    Yes cold water bath never fails

  • Incog-knee-gress

    We wanted my Dub21 granddaddy to come back home and do the same to us. We had invited everyone and their mama over to their house. Folks started knocking. We couldnt eem get up and answer the door. Me and him camped out in one bathroom. His sister in one. Homegirl in the half bath. We praying and calling out to each other throughout the damn house. It was awful. AWFUL. By Sat. afternoon I was okay. I took a shower and called my damn sister. She was like what are you doing in Wendell bish you supposed to be in Cary. I will explain when you get here. Please for the love of Jesus I need to go home... right now.

  • harley_quinn2.0

    Oh mylanta ???

  • leapyearpisces

    Yes, I couldn't stand to SMELL anything....I would see commercials of food and it would send me reeling....they gave me the meds they give people that take chemo....NOTHING work....I think it was called Zofran. NOTHING, but getting pass that 4 month mark....I thank GOD for his grace and mercy...that was ROUGH.

  • Tlowe89

    That's all I get in the afternoons and only on a Friday or Saturday bcus it doesn't agree with me the next morning. But there so good. I refuse to do number 2 in public/work restrooms. But if I make it to chick fil a during the morning I get they're mini chicken biscuits sandwhichs. Those don't upset me the next day. AND everything I eat there is put chic fil a sauce on it. That stuff is amazing.

  • MissyJ

    Chile I told y'all how my mama fell out 2 days before my sister nuptials off some food poisoning.... Plain FELL OUT in the bathroom of the hotel... EMS coming through et al

  • Keesh5000

    Good Afternoon Roses!!!!

  • Tlowe89

    Food poisening will have you feeling like your some creatures in a scary movie who want to curl up in the darkest corner of the room with all the shades and black out curtains drawn.

  • Keesh5000

    I got food poisoned off of lettuce one time. Almost took me out. So horrible and painful

  • Keesh5000

    That's right....that's how I do it

  • SpiceGirl

    lettuce?(scary)....and I love me some salad. Glad your good tho....

  • Keesh5000

    I was vomiting and e

  • Pamela

    New Post

  • MissyJ

    You a lie Craig

  • Libra80sBaby

    Fine. Less seasoning I have to use.

  • pecancandy

    That is very unsanitary, I can see why you all got fast food. My mamma had meat in zip lock bags and she was very clean.

  • Gamer?? Chick

    Omg yes I feel you I have a kitchen plunger and a BR plunger. They should be separated yuck!

  • Rayne

    Sandra.. you got food poisoning? Since you don't cook. Whose house you ate from that gave you this?

    Cause if they did and it slows up my news day imma tear a patch of their candy azzes lmao https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1ec4c1bf11c427d66b2360de598eebf041db46369ea91223fd855dae4eb0dbe7.jpg

  • Araminta Glissade Chaines

    I thought it you typed it

  • RVAMade

    Thank you for the link to 10 Tips for a cleaner refrigerator. I have four children; and I try to keep my home and Items within as clean as possible while trying to find chemical free products that are cost friendly. What my mom has taught me to do anything that's in the fridge after two days need to be thrown out

  • SpiceGirl

    oh my...don't want no parts of that.

  • SummerBaby

    I had food poisoning back in the day from Little Ceasers Pizza lawd I thought I was dying. ?

  • Tlowe89

    My aunt acted like we were crazy for not wanting anything to do with that sink after that. She just couldn't get it through her head how nasty that was what she did.

  • Low E. TUH!

    LETTUCE PRAY...

    TOO SOON?

  • Low E. TUH!

    CHILE IT'S BARELY 12 IN YOUR HOOD...DON'T PLAY!

  • Low E. TUH!

    -GASP- DID THE CEREMONY GO ON AS PLANNED?

  • Low E. TUH!

    -SNICKERS-

  • Keesh5000

    Giggling....

  • Low E. TUH!

    LMAO! FAST TAIL LYING ARSE...

  • Low E. TUH!

    CHILE MY DOC PRESCRIBED ZOFRAN FOR ME...THAT CHIT STILL AT THE PHARMACY...AND THE CHILD WHO DUNNIT TO ME IS NOW 5 YEARS OLD. HEARD AWFUL THINGS ABOUT ZOFRAN...

  • Keesh5000

    My Granni did too. she dawg Burger King out everytime she get the chance

  • Low E. TUH!

    IF IT AIN'T A CRISPY TO THE TOUCH - YOU CAN HAVE IT BACK!

  • MissyJ

    Yeah it did. We didn't even tell my sister until after the wedding.. She had the nerve to be mad tho

  • Low E. TUH!

    A SWIFT SLAP WOULD'VE FOLLOWED...WHY WORRY ABOUT STUFF THAT YOU DIDN'T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT?

  • CapricornIce

    I had food poisoning once from Popeye's and didn't eat there for a year.

  • leapyearpisces

    Girl, they was giving me all types of ish, because they thought at first I had hyperthyroidism so they prescribed me some PTU or PKU whatever it was called, NOW THAT stayed at the pharmacy, and I just stopped taking the Zofran like after 3 or 4 pills. It was doing anything for me. I tell the twins almost everyday they better be thanking GOD because it was NOTHING but his hand on them they are alive and healthy. Buy all accounts they should have about 3 heads and 4 arms and legs. LOLOLOL.

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Girl.... I thought I didn't have food allergies ... I actually recently started eating muscles etc within the last 2years ... Each time dog azz sick... Lawd ... I mean puking ... Broke put in hives couldn't eat or swallow not one thing until that mess cleared out of my system ... The last time I ate that mess was in August ... Felt like I was damn dying... Bew was damn near had a heart attack chile... Puked so much... I will never ever touch that again.... I have no problem with shrimp crawfish or Lobster but those muscles ???? whew shyt ... I could have died.... A

  • Low E. TUH!

    HE CAN AND HE WILL!

  • MissyJ

    Had to tell her heffa sat down.. If she woulda managed to die we woulda called and told you before the fune ..... She didn't like my tone rofl

  • MissyJ

    Had to tell her heffa sat down.. If she woulda managed to die we woulda called and told you before the fune ..... She didn't like my tone rofl

  • leapyearpisces

    Oh no! That sounds AS BAD as food poison. I have a co-worker here at my job that has a beef allergy. He is allergic to beef!!!! I have NEVER heard of that in my life!

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    The more energies change now .... you will now see what works for your body and what doesn't ... I pay very close attention to that now ..... girl ..... you talking dog sick now .... lawd ..... Now I know not to ever touch them again ..... problem solved lololololol ..... a lot of foods I use to love react different in my body now ... I observe everything ..... if it's not in harmony in my tummy ... It gotta go

  • leapyearpisces

    You are right about that, I notice when I eat certain fruit, my mouth will feel funny. So I have cut those fruits out or down.

  • ………

    Click here for FDA recommended home-refrigerator food storage times.

    __________________________________________________________

    FDA do not care about what Americans eat or drink... I have seen drinks and food in stores that clearly stated...... This item has not been approved by FDA. but it was on the shelf with a price.. Ppl do your own research pls.

  • mark

    Thanks Sandra. U did not know milk should not be kept by the door. I'm not going say how long I left uncooked chicken in fridge. Ok I Will do better

  • Lisa daniels

    Yeo, y

  • Lisa daniels

    There always is.

  • mark

    Yes! My granmom fridge always smelled new. Was spotless with the box of baking soda in the back. I mean all growing up her fridge and house always smelled so clean

  • Lisa daniels

    That girl from flavor of live who put the whole chicken the microwave and flav cussed her smooth o

  • Kjibbers

    LOL

  • Kjibbers

    Are you serious? I did too. Food poisoning is so painful.

  • Kjibbers

    You know the best way to clean your microwave?

    Get a bowl of water and a lemon; cut in 4's, squeeze the lemon in the water and leave the wedges in and microwave for 4 mins, the steam will make it easy for you to wipe up the mess and use the wedges to wipe it up followed by dipping a paper towel in the water wiping it up. The lemon does wonders.

    Lemon is in a lot of cleaners.