( fridge temp fully solved ) -- how much difference really would various fridge temp affect the food life stored within?

this question outdated by ~7 years -- https://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/4529/what-temperatures-should-i-keep-my-refrigerator-and-freezer-set-at --

ask how much temp a fridge or freezer should be at

**but im very confused about how much difference is a degree or 10?**


like if i leave it at 45 or 55, is it not ok?

on http://www.explainthatstuff.com/refrigerator.html

it says if you leave it cooler, the food would last longer

but how much longer?

i've kept vegs and other food for way longer than than what is 'advised' and they were **completely fine**

like the two popular 'when does X expire' -- stilltasty & eatbydate

these sites and likely other advise a **'super safe'** date of when you throw out perfectly good stuff/food

brown rice is completely find way past the days claimed on https://www.quora.com/Can-I-keep-brown-rice-in-the-fridge-for-a-week-in-a-ziplock-without-it-going-bad

and some ppl say it's perfectly safe


on http://www.stilltasty.com/questions/index/90/

it claims that 'important to keep the temperature of your refrigerator at or below 40° F.'

if it's warmer than that, it claims that the 'types of bacteria that can cause both food spoilage and foodborne illness will multiply too quickly'

so are we saying before that temp, food would multiply at a 2x rate?

but then if you go above that temp, then food would multiply at a 100x rate? not sure what 'too quickly' means. is it really **'too quickly'** or is it just fine?


it also says **'can cause'** -- so like a 1% chance or a 99% chance

this info matters a lot to make good decision

you 'can' die every time you drive or fly a plane, does that mean you never drive or fly or go anywhere?


if fridge temp mattered so much -- life or death importance

then why don't fridge actually show temp? or show the temp on the temp control?
as also seen on http://www.consumerreports.org/refrigerators/best-refrigerator-temperature-to-keep-food-fresh/

if it was actually important? im sure one day the leading edge fridge would make this 'innovation', this basic innovation happen.


**please help as best you can as the previous question was helped**

**really appreciate a helpful answer among all this info everywhere**



Nancy July 2, 2017
I admire your thoroughness and attempts to reconcile conflicting advice.

First, temps. food susceptible to bacteria formation should be stored below 40F (4C) in refrigerator, and below 0F (-32C) in your freezer, and not more than 2 hours a room temperature.

Second, how to interpret temperature. Temperature is not like speed in a car, where there is a sliding scale of danger with increased speed (and other conditions). So don't calculate leaving a food half as long at twice as high a temp. Doens't work like that. Bacteria live and thrive in certain temp ranges.

Third, recommended usage end dates.
• From workshops with Canadian food safety professionals, I know that "use by" and "best before" are often (only) manufacture or store recommendations, designed to give you best quality product and/or move them off their shelves. These are not safety guidelines. That is for "expires by" which IS a safety measure, and often applied to foods prepared for infants and elderly people with weaker-than-adult immune systems. Do not use "expired" food after its end-date.
• I know the stilltasty site quite well, and if you read some of the small print on each food-specific page you'll find they often say you can keep food beyond the package recommended date, but with some trade-off in quality/taste but not safety.
• Don't know eatbydate site well enough to comment.
• Yes the FDA often recommends throwing food out after "use by" date and this is far too soon.
Last, the question I liked the best (and can’t answer) is why refrigerators and freezers don’t come with their own thermometers.

Here are two links to consider:
designparadise July 2, 2017
one of the question was about how much of a difference various degrees make

it wasn't really fully answered, but it's a hard question also

i think you missed the 4th section, but these were all hard questions
Nancy July 3, 2017
Food saftey depends on limiting bacteria activity. The markers for that safety are expressed in degrees temperature over time as observed in homes, laboratories, professional kitchens...e.g., the fridge, freezer, room (between 40F and cooked whether broiled, boiled etc.).
Knowing what a degree is (amount of heat needed to raise a certain quantity of water from solid to melted or liquid to bolied/steam) doesn't change the temps needed to keep food safe. It's only a descriptomr.
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