Does Ice Cream Go Bad?

does ice cream go bad
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Does ice cream go bad?

Yes, ice cream does go bad. If not stored properly it will go bad. We’ve create a guide to answer all your safety concerns and questions. Take a look below to learn how long creamy frozen deserts will last in the freezer and what happens if you eat expired ice cream.

How long does ice cream last in the freezer?

Creamy frozen products like ice cream have a best before date stamped on the container as opposed to sell by date or expiration date. The simple answer is ice cream will last two to three moths in the freezer past its best before date if it hasn’t been opened.

If it has been opened, it will last one to two months past its best before date. However, the actual time it will last depends on several factors, including the best before” date, how it was prepared, and how it is stored.

What happens if you eat expired ice cream?

Frozen treats can expire and if you eat expired ice cream you could get food poisoning. Many people only consider the best by date to determine if ice cream is safe to eat. However, you must also consider how safely it was stored.

Bacteria can contaminate old frozen dairy products. Despite looking and tasting fine, it still can make you sick. Another misconception is, freezing ice cram will kill bacteria. That isn’t true. It will slow the bacteria growth, but not kill it. The risk of bacteria in frozen treats increases when it thaws completely.

As with other illnesses, people with weakened immune systems are at highest risk of getting sick. Senior citizens, young children and pregnant women are at high risk too. Most of the time, when someone gets sick from expired dairy products they experience stomach flu symptoms. As a result, they will feel better after a few hours.

How long does homemade ice cream last in the freezer?

Homemade ice cream lasts for two weeks in the freezer. Unlike store bought, home made frozen dairy treats do not contain any preservatives which would preserve it longer.

5 Tips for Storing Ice Cream

  1. The key to great ice cream is to keep it as cold as possible until you’re ready to eat it. Your freezer should be kept below 0°F. If you want your dairy dessert a little softer before you eat it, let it sit on the countertop for a few minutes. Do not put it in the microwave.
  2. Exposing creamy frozen treats to air can make it go bad. After you scoop out your serving, cover the ice cream with plastic wrap to recreate the seal that came on the container. This will protect the product from air and keep it fresher longer.
  3. As stated in tip #1, you want your frozen desserts to be as cold as possible which is why you should store it in the back of your freezer. Storing your favorite frozen dairy treats in the back, will make it more difficult for warm air to get to your ice cream each time you open the freezer door.
  4. To prevent freezer burn, turn your ice cream upside down when you put it back in the freezer. After you take your delicious frozen dessert out of the freezer, it begins to melt. The top will melt most because it is exposed to the most air. If you put it back in upright, ice crystals will form and create freezer burn. To avoid freezer burn, secure the lid and turn it upside down.
  5. Keep delicate frozen treats away from other frozen foods that smell. Store ice cream separately, if possible. Uncovered foods, or foods that release odor may seep into your creamy dessert and affect its taste.

How can you tell if ice cream has gone bad?

There are a few ways to tell if your favorite dessert has gone bad. First, look for the best by date. If it has been opened and it is past one month, it has gone bad.

Second, take a look at the ice cream. If there are small ice shards on top of the it, which is known as freezer burn, it has gone bad. In addition to freezer burn, the color may have also changed.

The last way to tell if ice cream has gone bad, is to smell it. If it has gone bad, it will have a strong odor. If your frozen treats has any of these characteristics, its time to throw it out.

Is freezer burn on ice cream safe to eat?

While it may not look or taste like you are expecting, you can eat freezer burn. However, it is not recommended. The reason why freezer burn happens is over time, ice evaporates. As the ice evaporates moisture leaves the ice cream and combines with moist air. This combination refreezes on the ice creams surface creating ice crystals which we call freezer burn. Items with freezer burn are safe to eat but might not be up to your standards.

How to prevent freezer burn?

The best way to prevents freezer burn is to eat your dessert in one sitting. You can reduce the chances of developing freezer burn by freezing it immediately after opening it. Be sure to store it in a tightly sealed container to keep out moisture, smells and other contaminants. You can make your delicious frozen dessert last longer by storing in a sealed plastic freezer bag or a sealed plastic container.

Does ice cream go bad if left out overnight?

Yes, if frozen dairy products are left out of the freezer for more than two hours at room temperature it will go bad. It will start to grow bacteria very quickly and will need to be thrown out. Even semi-thawed ice should not be refrozen, it should be thrown out too.


Ice cream is a favorite treat for children and adults. Its no wonder why people love it, there are endless flavors to choose from, it cools you down on a hot summer day, and tastes absolutely delicious. However, it is important to keep in mind how to keep your favorite treats from going bad. It is a perishable dairy product and should be treated carefully. Share with us the ways you keep your favorite treats safe and delicious.