Food poisoning happens when you eat something that has been contaminated by bacteria.
There are certain types of food poisoning that can be so dangerous they can actually be fatal. Fortunately, most types are not serious, and the chances are you’ll get better within a few days.
The symptoms of food poisoning usually occur within one or two days of eating food that has become contaminated.
- Diarrhoea, which may contain blood or mucus
- Stomach cramps and pain in the abdomen
- Depleted energy and weakness
- Loss of appetite
- A high temperature of 38C or above (fever)
- Aching muscles
And even though they may last only a few hours, they are not something you want to experience if you can really help it.
You are probably aware that if you re-heat certain kinds of foodstuffs you may be putting yourself in danger of food poisoning, but what about frozen food?
Can you get food poisoning from ice cream?
You might think that because ice cream is kept in a freezer it won’t make you ill. How wrong you are!
Is it possible to get food poisoning from ice cream? Yes. Like any foodstuff which is not stored properly or isn’t consumed within its expiry date, it could go bad.
Food poisoning from ice cream is likely to occur if you don’t use a container that is fit for purpose. It must be able to withstand the low temperatures of a freezer and be airtight.
Freezer temperature is important because ice cream that has melted is more likely to become contaminated.
Bacteria can be transferred to the ice in many ways, via utensils handled by sticky hands, or by fingers dipped into the contents of the tub. Unfortunately, once the contaminated ice cream comes into contact with a warmer environment bacteria will multiply,
And refreezing will only make matters worse. Certain bacteria, like listeria, can not only survive but thrive in your freezer.
When are you likely to get food poisoning from ice cream?
- Actions such as scooping your ice cream with a utensil that isn’t clean, or letting someone, for example a child, lick a spoon and dip it back onto the container can lead to contamination
- If you allow your ice cream to melt and then you refreeze it (If it’s only out of the freezer for a short time, it should be OK)
- If the ice cream is home-made and includes unpasteurised eggs and/or raw milk
- When cross-contamination occurs because the ice cream is not stored in the correct container
As you can see, no matter how delicious your ice cream, hidden dangers can lurk, especially if it is not kept properly.