If there is one food that is loved by one and all, it is ice cream. Smooth, cold, and delicious, ice cream ticks all the boxes. Whether at the end of a regular meal or after a bad breakup, ice cream is the comfort food that we all reach out to. For many people, ice cream is just one of those things that have to be present in the freezer no matter what!
There’s nothing wrong with having your pantry well-stocked on ice cream, the only thing that you have to keep in mind is regular consumption. Once the printed date of expiration is passed, an opened box of ice cream has to be consumed in two months and an unopened box in about three months.
How to Tell if Your Ice Cream Has Gone Bad
All ice cream has a date of expiration, which is usually pretty short. Most ice creams usually have a best before date and not exactly a use-by date. So, in a way, you can actually consume ice cream safely even after the best before date has lapsed.
However, you have to keep in mind that ice cream does go bad, like all dairy products. The reason why most people seem to believe otherwise is that there are no overt signs of ice cream going bad. However, one of the biggest indications is when tiny shards of ice form on the upper layer of the ice cream. Eating bad ice cream is a definite health hazard, so you must be mindful of the expiration date.
What Temperature must Ice Cream be Frozen at?
The best temperature to store ice cream so that they freeze properly is at 0°F (-18°C) or even below. When you are buying ice cream from a grocery, the temperature of the freezer must at least be as low as 10°F (-12°C). At the ideal temperature, not only will the ice cream be frozen, but at the same time, it should be hard when you touch it.
When it comes to homemade ice cream, the use of fresh ingredients and the absence of preservatives means that your ice cream is extremely fresh and must be consumed even faster. Homemade ice creams are delectable so it is best if you consume them as soon as possible. Dairy products when consumed past their expiration can lead to dire consequences and possess a significant health hazard.
The Best Way to Store Ice Cream
One of the best ways to make sure that your ice cream is fresh and smooth for a long time is to keep it in the freezer after every use almost immediately. This is especially true if you have homemade ice cream or an opened box of ice cream. Once the box has been opened you must store ice cream in a container that can be closed tightly to keep moisture and other contaminants away.
While it is okay to store the ice cream in its original carton, using a Tupperware container can actually help you extend the shelf life of ice cream. When you are storing ice cream in Tupperware it is very important to write the expiration date with the help of a marker. This allows you to remember after which point you should not be consuming ice cream since it will go bad.
As already mentioned, fresh or an opened box of ice cream is fit for eating even after one or two months of the expiration date. So, you must clearly indicate this date in case you are changing the container to extend the shelf life.
Tips for Proper Ice Cream Storage
There are some safety practices that will allow you to store ice cream in a much more health-conscious manner at home. No matter how big or small your freezer is, you must store ice cream properly to maintain health standards. Here are a few tips for proper ice cream storage:
- You must set your freezer between -5°F and 0°F. This is the ideal temperature for storing ice cream. Within this range, you can expect the ice cream to be hard while not becoming icy and hard to bite. However, when it comes to serving the temperature of ice cream it is best to keep it between 6°F and 10°F.
- Many people are in the habit of consistently taking out the ice cream from the freezer, letting it soften, and then refreezing it again. This means that the ice crystals in the screen also freeze, forming huge lumps of icy shards. This will make your ice cream unpalatable. So, if you have a huge carton of ice cream and want to eat it for a few days you must always take some portion of the ice cream out in a separate bowl to consume it, rather than taking out an entire carton of ice cream and melting at
- The placement of the ice cream inside your fridge is also important. Make sure to find a space deep inside your freezer where the constant opening and closing of the freezer does not affect its temperature. For the same reason, you must avoid keeping ice cream in the freezer door which experiences the highest fluctuation in temperature.
- Never leave ice cream alongside opened cans of food because ice cream has the ability to soak flavors from other foods.
How to keep ice cream soft in the freezer
If your ice cream becomes too hard when storing it in the freezer it can become very difficult to consume. Hence to make sure that ice cream is in its perfect consistency and freezing point you must be careful about the temperature at which the ice cream is kept. Freezer temperature between -5°F and 0°F is perfect for making sure that your ice cream is soft but not melting. Proper ice cream storage can have a great impact on the flavor of the ice cream. You don’t want to buy it on a large piece of ice when enjoying a big scoop of luxurious ice cream. So, keep your ice cream stored properly in the freezer and be careful about the expiration date.