How Long Does Ice Cream Last in the Freezer?

how long ice cream last in the freezer

You will learn how to properly store ice cream in your home freezer from this article. Learn useful hints and techniques for avoiding freezer burn, preserving the creamy texture, and the principles of ice cream chemistry.

The bad news is that ice cream does go bad. Ice cream takes a while to spoil, like all foods kept in the freezer, but it doesn’t last forever. Depending on whether it has been opened or not, ice cream can last a certain amount of time in the freezer. Ice cream containers that have been opened will generally only last for six weeks (if properly stored) while those that have not been opened can easily last for three months after their expiration date.

How Long Does Ice Cream Last in the Freezer?

Depending on a few conditions, ice cream will last for up to six months in the freezer. An expiration date will be stamped on the container of every store-bought ice cream product. Although the majority of authorities on food safety concur that moving that deadline back a few months is acceptable, the final decision rests with you.

Usually, homemade ice cream doesn’t keep as long as store-bought ice cream. Home cooks may store homemade ice cream in improper, flimsy, or porous containers, which hastens deterioration. This is due in part to the fact that homemade ice cream (generally) contains fewer preservatives.

Ice cream that has been consistently kept at a freezing temperature will last longer, like all frozen foods. Reduce the amount of time ice cream spends at room temperature by bringing an insulated sealable or zippered bag on your next grocery run.

A freezer that is actually cold is also important. The FDA advises maintaining your freezer’s temperature between -18 and 0 degrees, but not above 0. You may be interested in How Long Does Ice Cream Last Once Opened?

How Can You Tell If Ice Cream Has Gone Bad?

how long does ice cream last in the freezer

Ice cream has a pretty long shelf life, but that doesn’t mean it will last forever. Ice cream spoils just like any other food, especially dairy products. Watch out for these three signs of spoilage.

Ice Shards on the Lid and Ice Cream

The most significant indicator that your ice cream is going bad is the presence of ice shards. These minute ice crystals will develop on the ice cream’s top layer and lid. While these are “safe” to consume, they will have a negative impact on the flavor and texture.

A Gooey Or Slimy Texture

Look at your ice cream closely. Has the texture changed at all? Ice cream that is past its prime will develop a gooey and slimy texture, both of which are highly unappealing. Immediately discard the ice cream if you notice these textural changes.

Stale Odor

Ice cream should have a pleasant aroma. If yours is starting to smell stale, there’s a reason – it’s spoiled and needs to be thrown away.

The presence of ice shards or a change in texture is two additional rancidity indicators to look for as it can be difficult to tell whether ice cream is spoiled based solely on smell.

How to Store Ice Cream for Longevity (4 Tips)

Unopened ice cream containers can last for three months beyond the “best by” date, while opened containers can last for six weeks – but that’s only if it’s stored properly. To ensure that your ice-cold treat lasts as long as possible, follow these four tips.

Store in the Back Or Bottom of the Freezer

It’s no secret that ice cream must be stored in the freezer. But where in the freezer? The bottom or back of the freezer is the ideal location for ice cream. Since the temperature in these places is more stable, your ice cream will stay frozen for longer.

Keep It Sealed

Each ice cream container has a lid that ought to fit snugly over the container. When you’re done scooping your bowl of ice cream, make sure the lid is on tightly and securely before placing it back in the freezer.

By doing this, you can protect your priceless container of ice-cold, creamy deliciousness from the air, moisture, and other contaminants.

Use An Airtight Container, If Necessary

I’ve cracked a few ice cream tubs and lids over the years. How about you? If the container is broken, the lid isn’t fitting correctly, or there are any other types of damage that can hinder the security of your ice cream, always stash it in an airtight container.

You don’t need an airtight container if your ice cream container isn’t perfect. Double protection is something I strongly believe in, especially when it comes to a treat like ice cream.

In spite of this, you can always keep your ice cream in its original packaging and keep it in an airtight container. With a double barrier, there is no chance of contaminants hindering your ice cream.

A container that is airtight must be used from the beginning to store homemade ice cream.

Never Refreeze Melted Ice Cream

Unless you’re a fan of food-borne illnesses, refrain from refreezing ice cream that has melted. When ice cream melts, bacteria can grow more easily, which could make you sick if you eat it.

It’s acceptable to have some meltiness. Suppose the top and sides of your container have a little melted while you’re driving home from the grocery store. Toss it out instead if it has been sitting out for a few hours and looks more like soup than ice cream.

how long does ice cream last in the freezer


Can You Eat Ice Cream After the Expiration Date?

Most ice cream containers come with a “best by” date rather than an expiration date. This is simply a date that indicates when the ice cream is freshest – not safest. Pre-ingestion inspection for spoilage is the best course of action.

What Does Spoiled Ice Cream Taste Like?

Ice shards present will probably give the spoiled ice cream a chewy texture. However, slimy and goopy can also describe rancid ice cream. Regardless, spoiled ice cream will not taste fresh, creamy, and delicious. The flavor has undergone a discernible change.

Does Ice Cream Expire in the Freezer?

Yes, you should constantly pay attention to the ice cream container’s stated expiration date. Homemade ice cream should last for two to three weeks, while ice cream from the grocery store should last about two months.

Can I Thaw and Refreeze The Ice Cream?

The ideal temperature for scooping ice cream is between 6 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit, but thawing the entire container of ice cream to this level can degrade the quality of the ice cream that is left over after serving.

The ice crystals combine to form larger masses during the process of refreezing. This is what gives the ice cream a grainy texture. Ice cream experts would suggest that you do not thaw and then refreeze an entire container of ice cream.

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