Freezers are magical boxes in our homes that keep our food safe. But how long can something last in a freezer, specifically ice cream? We know that milk is a major component of many ice creams, and the expiration date for it is quite low. However, ice creams have a much longer life span in the freezer, but this doesn’t mean you can leave it there forever. Or can you?
Can Ice Cream Go Bad in the Freezer?
What you might not know is that ice cream can stay in the freezer for two or three months. And this only counts if it hasn’t been opened. Needless to say, we are talking about regular freezers and not temperatures close to absolute zero. This means that the ice cream can indeed go bad in the freezer if you leave it there for a couple of months.
The reason for this is that ice creams are still in the dairy category, which means shorter shelf life. Furthermore, it also depends on other factors like whether the ice cream was stored properly, the best before date, ingredients, and so on.
While you can still eat it after three or four months, it isn’t something we would recommend. It is always safer to buy ice cream in a smaller package, to avoid any potential problems.
How Long Is Open Ice Cream Good for in the Freezer?
Everything we mentioned before refers to unopened ice creams in the freezer. But what happens when you open it? Once your favorite dairy treat is out of the box, the time is drastically reduced.
Most companies recommend eating the ice cream in less than ten days, but you can safely say that it’s between one and three weeks based on the ingredients and type of storage. The shelf life of ice cream is significantly longer, and once you open it the “best before” part doesn’t count.
Keep in mind that the date on the box is for how long the ice cream will stay fresh, but it only counts for unopened packages.
How Can You Tell if Ice Cream Has Gone Bad?
While many people believe that putting something in a freezer will keep it safe for the rest of eternity, this isn’t the case. Freezers have zero degrees Fahrenheit in the majority of cases, and this is not enough to prevent food from going bad.
Bacteria will still grow in the freezer, and the only difference is that the process will be slower. One of the first things you might notice on an ice cream gone bad is tiny ice crystals on the surface. If you notice ice shards on the ice cream, it might be a sign it’s not safe to eat, and you might want to consider throwing it away.
Of course, some people might be tempted to scrape the crystal surface of the ice cream and eat the safe part, it mostly depends on how much of it is spoiled.
Consider: Making homemade ice cream!
What Happens if You Eat Expired Ice Cream?
If there are only a few crystals on the ice cream, there is a high chance that nothing will happen to you. However, the longer it stays in the freezer the worse it will become. Properly stored ice cream can still be good even after the expiration date, but one that’s opened is a bit different.
The worst thing about it is that it won’t taste nearly as good as a fresh one. Even if you get tempted to try it, you will quickly notice that the experience is not the same. The ice cream will lose moisture, it will be crunchy, and you will need to chew ice. Needless to say, it might make you sick based on how long it was in the freezer.
Assuming that you don’t own a vintage ice cream at home that’s been sitting there for generations, the probable outcome is that you will have a lousy time eating it. Since the entire idea behind ice cream is to have a delicious treat and feel lovely while eating it, expired ice cream is something you don’t need in your life. The best possible option is to just throw it away.