You might have deadbolts on the front door and a top-of-the-line security system, but, if you really care about staying safe inside your home, you'll secure the food inside your fridge, too. One small thermometer can help your food (and your health) stay safe in a number of ways.
Keeping the food in your fridge at the right temperature is key to making sure your groceries stay safe to eat. But built-in thermometers can be unreliable. Most are placed near the fridge or freezer door, which could make their reading way off after just a few seconds with the door open. And after your appliance is a few years old, the calibration on built-in thermometers can suffer.
A little stand-alone refrigerator thermometer is so inexpensive, there's really no excuse for not having one. Especially when it can do all of this for you:
Find out if your fridge is keeping cold enough. Freezers should be kept at 0ºF (-18ºC). At that temperature most frozen foods will keep for a year. The refrigerator should be below 40ºF (4.5ºC).
You can figure out the cold and warms spots in your fridge. Yeah, it should keep everything at a chilly 35°F, but refrigerators usually have some variation in different spots. With a thermometer or two placed inside, you can figure out the best spot for everything.
You'll have a heads up if your refrigerator or freezer is on the fritz. If your aging appliance is getting weaker—or quits on you—you'll know it a little bit sooner if you keep a gauge inside.
Stay food safe in an emergency. Power went out because of a storm? You'll know if it's time to toss your fridge or freezer full of groceries by monitoring that the temperature inside is the right temperature for food safety.