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Documentation of the refrigerator temperature

Published on 01.12.2023

The correct handling of goods requiring refrigeration is not only mandatory, but also crucial for the safety of the goods. Accurate documentation of the refrigerator temperature plays a key role in this. In this blog post, we take a closer look at the aspects that are important when documenting the refrigerator temperature for goods that require refrigeration.

  1. Why does the temperature have to be documented?
  2. What needs to be considered during documentation?
  3. Who has to document the temperature?
  4. How can the temperature be determined?
  5. What regulations are there in Germany?
  6. Temperature ranges for storage

Why does the temperature have to be documented?

Accurate documentation of the refrigerator temperature is crucial for several reasons:

  • Quality assurance: The quality of food, especially sensitive products such as meat, fish and dairy products, depends heavily on the storage temperature. Compliance with the prescribed temperatures ensures the freshness and shelf life of the products and therefore customer satisfaction. To maintain the chemical and microbial stability as well as the pharmacological activity of medicines, which is crucial for patient safety and compliance with manufacturer requirements, they must also be stored refrigerated.
  • Legal requirements: In many countries, including Germany, there are clear legal regulations for the storage of goods requiring refrigeration. Regular documentation serves as proof of compliance with these regulations and protects against possible legal consequences in the event of non-compliance.
  • Avoidance of waste: Precise temperature monitoring helps to avoid unnecessary waste. Products stored at the wrong temperature can spoil more quickly or lose their effectiveness and may have to be disposed of. Accurate documentation helps to minimise losses and use resources more sustainably.
  • Consumer confidence: The transparent documentation of the refrigerator temperature demonstrates a high degree of professionalism and a sense of responsibility towards the consumer.

What needs to be considered during documentation?

Documenting the refrigerator temperature requires accuracy and continuity. It is important to check the temperature regularly and document the results systematically. This can be done with the help of Temperature recording devices or with manual recordings. It is essential to pay attention to the frequency of the recordings in order to be able to adequately trace the temperature curve. When working with data loggers, a recording frequency of 20 minutes is advisable. Ideally, the temperature should be documented several times a day if manual documentation is used. Caution: Temperature fluctuations cannot be traced in this way. It should also be considered whether other parameters such as ambient humidity should be monitored. In the event of temperature fluctuations or deviations, it is important to take immediate action.

Who has to document the temperature?

The need to record storage temperatures depends on various factors, including the type of products stored and the regulations that apply in the respective industry and region. As a rule, companies that store food, pharmaceuticals, biological products or other temperature-sensitive goods must record the storage temperatures. Here are some examples:

Food industry: Companies that produce, store or transport food often need to monitor and record storage temperatures to ensure product safety and quality.

Pharmaceutical industry: Pharmaceutical companies often need to monitor the storage temperatures of medicines and vaccines to ensure their efficacy and safety.

Organic products: Companies that store biological products such as blood samples or other biological materials often need to record accurate storage temperatures to ensure the integrity of these products.

Chemical industry: Some chemicals require specific storage temperatures to ensure stability and safety. In such cases, it may be necessary to monitor and record the storage temperatures.

Responsibility for documenting the refrigerator temperature usually lies with the operator or quality management. It is important that clear responsibilities are defined and that staff are appropriately trained and understand the importance of correct temperature control.

How is the temperature determined?

Accurately determining the refrigerator temperature is crucial. This can be done by using temperature recording devices that automatically record data and send it to cloud storage via the internet. Alternatively, manual thermometers can be used, which are read and documented regularly. It is important to check the temperature measuring devices regularly to ensure their accuracy.

What regulations are there for refrigerator temperature documentation in Germany?

In Germany, the storage of goods requiring refrigeration is subject to certain regulations that serve to ensure the safety of the products. Please note that the following regulations are only an extract:

HACCP concept

Since 1 January 2006, the (EC) No. 852/2004 on food hygiene to draw up an HACCP concept for anyone who handles food or places it on the market.
The HACCP concept consists of seven principles that guarantee the systematic identification, assessment and control of hazards in food production and thus ensure food safety.


Pharmacies are equipped with special refrigeration facilities and are obliged to ensure the refrigerated storage of medicinal products in accordance with the provisions of Sections 2a, 4 and 16 of the German Medicinal Products Act. Apothekenbetriebsordnung to document.

Temperature ranges for storage

Medicinal products must be stored in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions; medicinal products are roughly categorised into the following areas.

FieldsTemperature range
Deep-frozen (e.g. some blood products or vaccines)< -15 °C
Refrigerator temperature (e.g. biologics, insulins, antibodies)2 to 8 °C
Cold or cool8 to 15 °C
Room temperature (usual storage temperature for medicines)15 to 25 °C

Temperature ranges for food storage

ProductRecommended temperature range
Frozen products-18 °C
Raw fish & minced meat+2 °C
Poultry meat+4 °C
Perishable food, fresh meat & dairy products+7 °C
Butter, cheese and cheese preparation+10 °C
These values are general guidelines and may vary depending on regional and industry-specific requirements. It is strongly recommended that you check the exact legal requirements and industry-specific standards and seek professional advice to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.


Documenting the cooling temperatures of goods requiring refrigeration is not only a legal requirement, but also makes a decisive contribution to product safety. Accurate records and compliance with the prescribed temperature ranges guarantee the freshness, safety and highest quality of the products.


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