We all have those midnight sweet cravings, which lead us to the kitchen in the pajamas to dig up the freezer and take out that buried ice cream tub. But is it safe to consume old and opened tub after such a long time?
It may come as a surprise to you but ice cream does go bad and eating old expired ice cream can make you sick as well.
How long does ice cream last?
Can ice cream go bad or does it expire in the freezer? According to an estimation, an unopened ice cream tub can last up to two months if it is stored in the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Practically, it remains edible for more than that if it is properly packed. You can consume such ice cream for a good three to four months, but not after that. When it is opened, you don’t have a month to store it. You must eat it within two to three weeks.
As if you know about ice cream cakes – they have even a shorter life span than that of ice cream, unfortunately. You must eat it within five to seven days. The expiration of the ice cream cake depends on the ingredients as well. If the cake is made without cream cheese, eggs, or butter – then probably your ice cream cake would last longer than a typical ice cream cake.
How to tell if ice cream is bad?
Many people think that freezing food will prevent them from bacterial growth, which does not apply to all types of foods. Freezing food only slows down bacterial growth but is unable to stop the process entirely.
You must have witnessed that the ice cream begins to form tiny ice crystals at the top, even when you have stored it properly in a freezer after opening it. This indicates that your ice cream has expired.
Many times, in those midnight cravings, people scrap out those crystals and eat the rest of the ice cream that is not safe. You should avoid it at all costs. It may be safe only in those conditions where the crystals were just formed and were not penetrated to the entire carton.
What would happen if you eat crystallized ice cream?
Crystalized or expired ice cream can make you severely sick. Moreover, ice creams that were thawed initially for eating and were refrozen to consume later have the potential for food-borne illness as bacterial growth have already taken place at this time.
Food-borne illness can be rigorous sometimes as the symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, sore throat, and fever.
How to safely store ice cream?
To store your ice cream for a longer period, it is best to:
- Store the ice cream tub at the back of the freezer.
- Avoid oxygen exposure to your ice cream.
- If it is thawed, do not refreeze
- Do not leave it out to be completely thawed.
To keep your ice cream and ice cream cakes from expiring, keep them at the back of the freezer close to the wall where the environment is colder. It has also been noticed that the temperature of freezers fluctuates, because of the frequent opening and shutting of the door.
That’s why, you should avoid keeping your ice cream at the door, otherwise you have to throw it away because it will quickly expire. Another tip to lengthen your ice cream life is to prevent its oxygen exposure. In case, where you have to refreeze your ice cream carton, place a cling wrap before you place the lid of a traditional carton. Or if you come up with any other solution that prevents oxygen to dive in will eventually reduce the possibility of bacterial growth.
How long ice cream can sit out on the counter?
There’s no estimated time suggested for leaving your ice cream on the counter and honestly, you should not leave your ice cream out. When ice cream starts to melt then bacterial growth is inevitable.
Nothing is better than finishing it up once it is exposed to oxygen. But if it’s not possible, then put it back in the deep freezer or at the back of the freezer close to the wall as early as you can, after serving. Your ice cream can go bad if it is left out for two or more two hours at a temperature of 40 degrees or above. You should throw it away at once, as it is no longer safe to eat.
What other details you should know about ice cream?
You must have loved ice cream all your life and still drool whenever you think of these heavenly delights. The tempting treat holds many mysterious facts that you should know. Let’s talk about them a little.
Ice creams make us thirsty!
Ice creams are made with amino acids, sugar, and fat that collect moisture from our bloodstream and make us feel thirsty. That’s why we always feel dehydrated after we eat our favorite ice creams.
Eating much ice cream can freeze our brain
Yes! That sounds weird, right? This happens because we have a bunch of sensors at the top of our mouths. On eating loads of ice cream, these sensors get in contact with the colder atmosphere and send heat loss signals to the brain. As a result, you can face unpleasant results.
The waffle cones were created accidentally
The 1904 World Fair in the US is considered a turning point for American food. There was a sweet treat vendor who ran out of paper holders. So, he bought some waffles from another vendor at the fair and made cones out of them. And that’s how we got waffle ice creams.
That’s it for now. Next time you buy an ice cream tub, make sure to keep it at the back of the freezer and follow the steps to extend its life to enjoy the delightful taste for a longer period.