Ice cream is a delicious dessert that is loved by many people of all ages all over the world. Today we have a chance to enjoy dozens of this yummy of different flavors, colors, and consistency.
Naturally, many of us may wonder: does ice cream expire?
In this article, we will tell you everything one needs to know about ice cream expiration and how to store this tasty sweet dessert properly so that it will be possible to enjoy longer.
Ice Cream Production
To begin with, let’s find out how ice cream is actually made. Even though ice cream seems to be a frozen creamy substance, in fact, it is a blend of different dairy products like condensed milk, cream, and butterfat together with sugar, flavoring, and other additives that serve as emulsifiers or stabilizers.
The process of ice cream making consists of several steps. First of all, milk is mixed with sugar, eggs (if needed), and additives and all this is blended for a while.
Then the mixture is pasteurized to destroy any harmful bacteria and is being sent to homogenize under the high air pressure. It allows the substance to become solid.
Finally, the blend is being cooled down and flavorings are added.The very last stage of the process is freezing and further packaging.
What usefulness can such a product have, you may ask?
Well, in fact, ice cream does have several benefits that are good to know about when next time someone will say that this is just a mix of milky sugar!
Ice cream contains vitamins A, B6 and B12, C, D, K, and E.
Ice cream is a great source of energy as it contains a lot of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Since ice cream is made of milk, it has a high amount of calcium and phosphorus that help to strengthen our bones and avoid kidney stones.
Finally, ice cream works well as a brain stimulator!
Since this simple and so well-known product is so useful, why not learn more about how to store it correctly to extend the ice cream life span to be able to enjoy its taste longer?
Ice Cream Shelf Life
Some of you may become quite surprised. The shelf life of ice cream?! Guys, just toss it into the freezer and forget about it! Why so serious?!
In fact, ice cream does have its expiry date, just imagine that!
Since it is made of dairy products, it can’t last forever only because it was once pretty well frozen. In fact, its duration of validity depends not only on the expiry date printed on the cover but also on the storage conditions and the method it was prepared with.
How long does ice cream last in this case?
Generally, when being stored correctly, ice cream will remain edible for two or even three months beyond its expiry date.
However, you need to take into account that opened and unopened ice cream has a different term of validity, as well.
Besides, there are several issues regarding ice cream storage that will be useful for everyone to know.
- How long does ice cream last in the freezer
When being stored under the correct conditions and when being still fresh, unopened ice cream will remain consumable for three months at most past its expiry date.
However, after it is opened, the dessert will stay edible for two months maximum.
- How long is ice cream good for?
If stored frozen, the unopened pack will still be eatable even after two or three months past the expiry date printed on the tank.
- Can ice cream be consumed after the expiration date?
This question bothers many people as you can have a lot of excess ice cream at home without knowing whether it is safe to eat it or let your kids do that or not.
Let us calm you down. If you have been storing ice cream properly after it was bought, the dessert will still be edible even after two months past its expiry date when unopened. However, three months is the maximum term.
Is it OK to freeze the ice cream for the second time or more?
Actually, ice cream is sensitive to the temperature fluctuations and constant freezing and unfreezing will sooner or later ruin it and lead to spoilage even faster than you expected.
So, if you re-freeze it once, it is OK but avoid repeating this regularly.
However, it still often happens that ice cream turns bad even if you keep it in the freezer! Why is it so? And how do you tell the difference between spoiled ice cream and good ice cream?
Let’s find it out!
Expired Ice Cream Symptoms
The very first question that one may ask is: can ice cream go bad? Well, why not? Since ice cream is made of dairy products, it can still be exposed to the influence of different harmful external factors that may lead to spoilage.
How to tell if ice cream is bad?
The most effective way is to examine it attentively. Normally, when the ice cream starts getting bad, its surface begins to get covered with the tiny ice shards that can also be found on the lid from the inside (that’s if your ice cream is kept in the plastic tank).
After a while, these shards get deeper and turn the expired ice cream into a goo. And that’s the obvious sign that the carton must be discarded.
Can you get food poisoning from ice cream if you eat some by accident? Unfortunately, it can just like any other spoiled food.
So, whenever you notice the slightest signs of food poisoning like nausea, general weakness or shivers, call the doctor or visit the hospital if you can.
And anyway, eating old ice cream doesn’t worth it! Just discard the spoiled dessert and buy a new one.
Follow these easy tips and keep an eye on the ice cream that has been staying in the freezer for too long, and you will protect yourself from any unpleasant effects.