Many of us are becoming increasingly conscious of food waste, more so with the rise in the cost of living.
For that reason, we don’t want to throw produce away unnecessarily.
Recent figures reveal that the UK wastes approximately 9.52 million tonnes of food every year. Some supermarkets have scrapped use-by dates on certain foodstuffs, leaving it up to the consumer to work out whether what’s in the fridge has gone off.
The problem is, it sometimes isn’t easy to work out whether something is good or bad for you.
Take a product as popular as ice cream. Can you eat out of date ice cream? Or can expired ice cream make you sick?
Well, here we explain why there are times when it’s OK to keep on eating out-of-date ice cream and others when you may need to junk your delicious, iced confection.
Can ice cream go out of date?
After a while, all produce will reach its expiry date and become unfit to eat. But what about that woollier phrase “best by date” which usually accompanies a tub of ice cream?
What this is telling us, is that while the ice cream is at its optimum taste and texture until the date on the container, it can actually continue to be enjoyed for a while afterwards.
This still doesn’t make things any clearer.
What we need to know is “Does ice cream go out of date?” and also, will it harm us? The answer is, yes.
Ice cream can go out of date, but the good news is that if stored properly in the right kind of airtight container, it could actually last for several months.
A container fit for purpose will save your ice cream from spoiling and going off; you just need to ensure it doesn’t melt and refreeze, which will cause something called freezer burn.
Freezer burn is characterised by ice crystals which have formed on the top of your ice cream or on the inside of the container lid. If this happens it will have suffered in terms of texture, colour and maybe even taste.
Even so, can ice cream go off? Well, you could take a tip from the supermarkets who have done away with best-by dates on some of their dairy products and subject your ice cream to the sniff test.
If it smells iffy, then it probably is.
And gone off ice cream could be contaminated with dangerous bacteria.
Can expired ice cream make you sick? Yes, it can. Healthy adults with a robust constitution may want to risk eating ice cream that’s been in the freezer longer than it should, but if you have a household that includes the elderly, very young children, and people who have a weakened immune system, you should not serve them out-of-date ice cream.
And if you are a restaurant or a business, you need to ask yourself whether you really want to serve your customers ice cream which is not at its best.
After all, the longer it is in the freezer, the more it will suffer in texture, colour, or taste – especially if it is an artisan confection that contains none of the preservatives included in commercial brands.
How long does it take for ice cream to go out of date?
So, “Does ice cream have expiration date?” The general consensus from the experts is that if you buy a commercial ice cream from the supermarket, and it remains in the coldest part of the fridge, then it can last from two to four months.
For home-made artisan ice cream, which doesn’t have the preservatives found in branded ice cream, it should be consumed before one month.
How long can you eat ice cream after the expiry date (if at all)?
As we have explained, if ice cream is kept in the right container and positioned at the back of the freezer so that it is in less danger of thawing out every time the freezer door is open, then it can last longer than the date on the container.
But can ice cream expire? The answer is yes. And the longer ice cream remains in the freezer, the more likely it is to spoil or worse, become at risk from bacterial contamination.
The good news is that you’ll just have to make sure you don’t leave things to chance. You’ll just have to polish off your ice cream as soon as you can!
Wondering which container is best for storing ice cream? Then look no further.
At Venturepak, you will find a range of containers perfect for all your ice cream storage needs.