You love ice cream, but do you love it enough to sell it?

Opening an ice cream shop seems like a no-brainer, considering that 147 million kilograms of ice cream were consumed in the UK at the last count.

And who wouldn’t want the pleasure of serving up this hugely popular confection to customers?

If you’ve made your decision, then all you need to learn now is how to start an ice cream shop business.

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Ice cream comes in so many varieties.

It may be filled with fruit or laced with liquor, made from unpasteurised cream or plant-based ingredients, but one thing that we need to make sure of is that it remains a container full of deliciousness for as long as possible.

But how long is “as long as possible”?

How long can ice cream last in the freezer without losing its taste or texture or worse still become harmful to those who consume it?

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We’ve all been there. You take your ice cream carton out of the fridge, and are presented with something more akin to the iceberg that sank the Titanic than the beautiful creamy confection we all know and love.

Perhaps in a domestic setting this isn’t such a catastrophe. After all, we usually store ice cream at home in small quantities. But imagine how much greater the frustration is when this happens in a restaurant or other food business?

So, rock-hard ice cream is bad news, and yet can be avoided if you follow a few guidelines on ice cream storage.

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If you’ve had a power failure, or a container of ice cream has been left out of the freezer and has melted, you may be wondering: ‘Can I refreeze ice cream that is partially thawed?’

We all know reheating food left out for a while can pose a health hazard, but what about colder items?

Can you melt and refreeze ice cream? Here, we explore what happens if you do.

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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.

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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.

They include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • 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
  • Chills

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?

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Commercial operations like shops and restaurants all need ice cream containers to store their products.

The type of packaging used is important, but so too is the question of what we do with it after ice cream has been served up to delighted customers.

We are becoming a more environment-conscious society, so much so that if you run a business which is not striving to be green, it could damage your reputation – even if your food is outstanding.

That is why it is important to know what you can do with your empty ice cream tubs.

Most ice cream containers are made from plastic. Again, this isn’t any old plastic but food-grade polypropylene ice cream containers. This is because ice cream is a perishable product and liable to lose its taste and texture if it is not stored at the correct temperature.

An ice cream container has to be the right kind of plastic for the kind of storage needed. And that’s that.

Another thing to be aware of is that not all plastics can be recycled. And this can vary from local authority to local authority, so you need to contact the council to find out the policy near you.

Back in 2018, a BBC report revealed that because recycling is a devolved issue and each council collects their recycling differently, there were 39 different sets of rules for what can be put in plastic recycling collections!

To make things easier, you can also look out for labels which tell you whether the packaging is likely to be collected.

There again, not all packaging has a recycling label, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fit for recycling.

If this sounds like a minefield, it’s not really as bad as it seems. Once you’ve cracked hat to do with your empty ice cream tubs you should be able to get into the routine of recycling them.

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Ice cream is one treat that most of us love but in order for it to retain its deliciousness it needs to be stored in the correct way and at the right temperature.

Any ice cream producer big or small who has spent time and energy creating the perfect flavour and consistency of their confection could see all their good work go to waste just by doing something as simple as using the wrong container.

In restaurants, ice cream parlours and supermarkets the optimum temperature at which ice cream should be stored is  0°F (-18°C) or colder and the temperature in the supermarket’s freezer case should not be above 10°F (-12°C). What this means is you need a container that can cope with these temperatures.

But which is best when it comes to ice cream containers for freezer? Is it glass or plastic? Here we list the pros and cons of both.

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In the past food was seasonal; you bought it by weight from a butcher or grocer and you had a pretty good idea about its provenance and freshness.

Today we eat differently.

We want produce to be available year-round, the convenience of food that’s pre-cooked, and details of its nutritional value and how it should be prepared (and stored) printed on the packaging.

For these reasons, and more, we need different types of storage containers.

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