While cleaning the fridge, you found two tubs of ice cream sitting at the back of your freezer. Subsequently, you don't know how long they were there. Are they still safe to eat? What should you do?
If you're wondering what the signs that your ice cream is already bad are, then this article is specially made for you!
Plus, I'm also going to tackle all you need to know about the shelf life of ice cream and only the smartest tips on how to store this sweet delight properly. Let's all start, shall we?
Does ice cream go bad?
Can ice cream go bad? To cut to the chase,yes, it does go bad like any other sweet treats! Your ice cream's shelf life lasts for a shorter period if you fail to store it properly.
There are many ways to tell if your ice cream is still safe to consume, though. The simplest way is to check the best before date found in the container. If you're still hesitant, another smart method to identify that your sweet delight has gone bad is to look closely at the ice cream.
Typically, a common sign of expired ice cream is the tiny ice crystals growing over the top layer and under the container's lid. If you happen to come across a trait like this, then throwing that ice cream is my best advice.
How long does ice cream last?
Your ice cream's shelf life depends on different factors such as its best-before-date and how it was stored. A tub of ice cream that has been kept unopened in the freezer can last long for up to three months. With proper storage, you can still consume it until the next month. However, safety isn't guaranteed.
Meanwhile, the ice cream shelf life for a tub that's already opened can last long for a maximum of two months past the best before date.
So it's recommended to serve your ice cream right away or store the container back in the freezer immediately after you use it. Also, don't let it be left out at a temperature above 40 degrees for more than two hours as it may no longer be safe to consume.
How to tell if ice cream is bad?
As mentioned, there are different ways to tell if your ice cream is already bad. The simplest method is to check its best before date. You can also look for the tiny ice crystals over the top layer and under the lid of the container as this is a common trait of expired ice cream.
Can you refreeze melted ice cream?
Well, it depends.
The primary reason why ice cream goes bad is the growth of bacteria like listeria. That's why freezing ice cream at zero degrees Fahrenheit is necessary as this process will slow down its growth.
If your ice cream is slightly melted and has been kept cold, then refreezing it is possible. However, there's a big chance of a listeria outbreak when you refreeze your sweet delight after it’s been melted outside the freezer.
To avoid food poisoning, throw away any ice cream that has melted instead of refreezing them.
Can you eat melted ice cream?
It's safe to consume and refreeze ice cream if it's slightly melted and you've kept it cold in the freezer. However, if it’s been thawed out for hours at room temperature, throw it right away!
Does unopened ice cream last longer?
When stored properly in the freezer, it's safe to consume, or you can still enjoy a tub of unopened ice cream for up to three months past the best before date.
Tips on storing it
Now that you already know some of the necessary details surrounding ice cream, it's time to unlock some of the essential tips on storing it!
The best way to store ice cream is to place them right in the central part of the freezer. Avoid putting them in the freezer door as it's repeatedly open and shut, causing the temperature to fluctuate.
Ensure to tightly close the lid of your ice cream container to avoid the exposure of oxygen and the formation of ice crystals. If you happen to open the container, put it back in the freezer immediately.
Lastly, avoid storing your ice cream along with uncovered foods as this can affect its flavor.
The bottom line
If you're an ice cream aficionado, learning these vital information is a must!
So the next time you're unsure if your old ice cream’s safe to consume, the logical thing to do is check the best buy date or look for those ice crystals over the top of the container.
Ice cream goes bad when it isn't stored properly. So follow those storage tips so you can enjoy your favorite ice cream longer!