Temperature monitoring: How often should medical fridge temperatures be checked?

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In any pharmacy, ensuring the integrity and efficacy of medications is paramount. One critical aspect of maintaining the efficacy of medications stored in a pharmacy is ensuring proper storage conditions, particularly regarding temperature control. Many medications, especially those that are temperature-sensitive, can degrade if exposed to improper temperatures. Therefore, medical fridge temperature monitoring is essential to safeguarding the quality of medications. But how often should these temperatures be checked? 

In this blog, we’ll explore this topic to provide you with all the essential information you need on this topic. 

Importance of temperature monitoring for medical fridges

Temperature control is crucial in pharmacy fridges. Medications, particularly vaccines, insulin, and certain antibiotics, can lose their potency if exposed to temperatures outside the cold-chain range for too long. This lack of cold storage can not only impact their effectiveness but can also compromise patient safety.

Any fluctuations, whether the temperature falls or rises, can lead to degradation and can render the medication ineffective or even harmful to patients. Therefore, maintaining the appropriate temperatures within a pharmacy fridge is vital for preserving the quality of medications.

Medical refrigeration regulatory guidelines

The cold chain policy for medical refrigeration recommends storing medication between +2°C and +8°C to maintain potency.

Additionally, regulatory standards enforce requirements for temperature monitoring and documentation. Pharmacies are required to keep records of temperature logs to ensure compliance with these guidelines. 

Determining the frequency of temperature checks

While regulatory guidelines provide a framework for temperature control, they may not always specify how often pharmacy fridge temperatures should be checked. The frequency of temperature checks may vary based on several factors:

Type of medications stored

Pharmacies storing temperature-sensitive medications may need more frequent temperature monitoring than those primarily dispensing non-sensitive medications.

Where non-sensitive medications may only need to be checked once per day, temperature-sensitive products may need to be checked two to three times a day.

Fridge stability

Newer, well-maintained fridges may exhibit better temperature stability compared to older or poorly maintained units. More frequent checks may be necessary for older fridges.

CoolMed medical refrigerators come equipped with built-in i-Cool temperature probes and a medical fridge thermometer that can accurately monitor and stabilise drug temperatures. 

As well as this, external digital controllers and temperature displays allow healthcare professionals to monitor temperature stability without needing to open the fridge door. This is important, as opening the fridge door too frequently can risk temperatures falling out of the cold-chain range.

Historical data

Recording temperature checks frequently allows healthcare staff to analyse historical temperature data, providing insights into the stability of fridge temperatures. If fluctuations are frequent, additional checks may be warranted. 

Whilst we suggest checking temperatures twice daily, your practice can carry out these checks more frequently if you feel it is necessary.

Regulatory requirements

Healthcare regulations related to temperature monitoring state that medical fridge temperatures should be logged at least once a day and recorded manually on a dedicated form. However, if you feel your practice requires more frequent checks, this can be organised internally. 

At CoolMed, we recommend that medical fridge temperatures should be checked twice daily.

Best practices for medical fridge temperature monitoring

Adopting best practices can help ensure medication integrity. Some of these include:

Regular checks

At CoolMed, we recommend regular temperature checks twice a day to help identify any temperature deviations promptly. During these regular checks, the minimum and maximum temperature should be manually recorded, and then the temperature reset. 

Peak times

Conducting these additional temperature checks during peak times can also be useful. During these periods, fridge doors are opened and closed more frequently which could potentially affect internal temperatures more drastically.


Maintaining detailed temperature records demonstrates compliance but also serves as valuable data for identifying trends and addressing potential storage issues.


Regularly calibrate temperature monitoring equipment to ensure the accuracy and reliability of temperature readings.

At CoolMed, our fully-trained UKAS-accredited engineers can visit your site annually to carry out calibration checks. To find out more, visit our Calibration Services page

Get in touch

Ensuring proper temperature control in pharmacy fridges is critical for maintaining medication quality and patient safety. 

Pharmacies must establish robust protocols based on factors such as the types of medications stored, fridge stability, and regulatory requirements. By adhering to best practices and conducting regular medical fridge temperature monitoring, pharmacies can uphold the integrity of medications and reduce risks associated with temperature fluctuations.If you would like to speak to our team about purchasing one of our pharmacy fridges or calibrating your existing fridge, contact us at +44 161 772 5666 or email us at info@coolmed.co.uk