How Long Does Ice Cream Last Once Opened?

ice cream

Any sane person would check their freezer to determine how much ice cream they have now that the temperatures are so high across the nation. There are many of us who enjoy ice cream all year long (especially when we don’t have much else to do), but some people may view it as more of a summer treat.

So, if you’re searching for that pint of Ben & Jerry’s that has freezer burn, you might be asking yourself a crucial question: can ice cream actually spoil? The solution might seem counterintuitive, but hopefully, by the end of this, you can see why it makes sense to be (relatively) cautious about ice cream expiration dates.

What Is The Shelf Life Of Ice Cream?

How long can you keep ice cream in the freezer? When kept safely in the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, ice cream can be kept for up to two months without losing any of its flavors.

Technically, you still have three to four months to eat it without getting sick, but after that, it is no longer safe. You have about two to three weeks to eat it after it is opened.

How long is an ice cream cake good for? Ice cream cake, unfortunately, doesn’t last as long as regular ice cream. It has a week to be consumed.

You might be able to store your ice cream cake a little bit longer than a week if it wasn’t made with eggs, cream cheese, whipped cream, or butter.

Does Ice Cream Go Bad?

Ice cream can spoil, yes. Despite being stored in the freezer, a place where food never seems to go bad, ice cream has a limited shelf life. Your favorite dairy-based dessert does have an expiration date, so it’s totally understandable if the thought never occurred to you to check.

A tub of unopened ice cream is said to have a shelf life of up to two months before it no longer tastes as good. Once the ice cream is opened, the timer starts, and you have one to two months to consume it without experiencing any issues.

In light of this, it’s important to keep in mind that “best by” dates frequently represents a conservative estimate. You can make whatever use of the information that some claim you can actually consume unopened ice cream for up to two to three months after the date printed on the container.

How To Tell When Its Time Is Up?

So, you’ve found the shady-looking tub of ice cream in the freezer’s depths. Inspection is due, but how can you tell when it has served its purpose?

First, turn the container around and march the ice cream straight to the trash if the exterior is sticky or ice-crystally. It’s far too late once the tub’s exterior has been affected by freezer burn. However, what if it hasn’t?

Give your ice cream a close examination and an up close examination. Ice crystal formation on the ice cream’s surface or on the underside of the container’s lid is one of the first signs that ice cream has gone bad. When it hasn’t been too long, these ice shards are occasionally few and easy to remove, revealing some ice cream that is still edible underneath.

Despite the fact that many people assert they “don’t mind” removing a layer of ice from a tub in order to save the remaining water, it is probably best to refrain. Why take a chance when ice crystal size can be a reliable indicator of freshness or lack thereof?

Ice’s time is up if it is in larger formations or if it is at all gooey in texture. This marks the start of bacterial growth.

ice cream

How To Store Ice Cream?

Ice cream should be kept in the coldest part of the freezer, toward the back.

Limit the oxygen your ice cream is exposed to.

After serving, do not let it thaw or leave it out.

Placing your ice cream or ice cream cakes in the freezer far back is the best way to ensure their continued freshness.

Despite having a fixed temperature, freezers can experience temperature variations in some areas more frequently because of door openings and closings. Because of this, it’s crucial never to store ice cream in the door as it will go bad sooner.

Reducing oxygen as much as you can while storing ice cream is a fantastic additional tip. A sheet of cling wrap can be placed over the ice cream in a conventional carton before the top is replaced. Some people prefer to put the entire carton right into a freezer bag. Any storage technique you can think of to lessen the ice cream’s oxygen exposure will aid in limiting the growth of bacteria.

How To Make Your Ice Cream Last Longer?

Ice cream is best kept in a properly closed container inside a freezer that is set to 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C). If you really want to go all out, you can put plastic wrap on top of the ice cream inside the container to make a texture-preserving seal that prevents the growth of ice crystals. You’ll be able to enjoy more “cream” rather than less “ice” if you do that.”

Other than that, use common sense caution by keeping your ice cream in the refrigerator as long as necessary when bringing it home or serving it. Making sure the lid is on tightly will also help, in addition to the more aggressive action of plastic wrapping.

Ice cream is therefore just as mortal as the rest of us, despite your wish that it would live forever. Naturally, the simplest solution to your issues is to simply consume as much ice cream as you are concerned about as quickly as you can, whether that means indulging in a full pint by yourself or organizing an unplanned ice cream social to ensure that it is all consumed. Eating ice cream before it spoils is one of the simplest ways to contribute to the effort to reduce food waste, which is a widespread issue. Do your part.


The best way to avoid this issue is to only keep ice cream in the house if it is so delicious that it won’t last more than seven to ten days. The best course of action is to immediately serve your ice cream and put it back in the freezer.

Ice cream should be thrown away right away if it is left out at a temperature above 40 degrees for more than two hours because it might not be suitable for consumption. You shouldn’t feel guilty about eating your ice cream before it spoils.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.