Almost all of us love ice cream. This is the reason why it is hard for us to discard thawed ice cream during a power outage.
The common thing that most people do is to refreeze their partially thawed ice cream.
But, can you really refreeze ice cream that is partially thawed? Is it safe to do?
Partially thawed ice cream can be refrozen, but it depends heavily on the type of ice cream that you are refreezing.
Partially thawed ice creams with high content in many liquid ingredients like custard can be refrozen.
Ice cream with high content in many solid ingredients like chocolate cannot be refrozen because the water and fat in the ice cream can separate.
These are things you might need to consider before refreezing ice cream.
How to refreeze partially thawed ice cream?
There are two options for refreezing partially thawed ice cream.
First, you can return the ice cream to the freezer and stir it in every 30 minutes for four hours to return the water and fat that separates back into the ice cream.
Second, you can thaw it completely and refreeze it.
If you decide to thaw the ice cream completely first, do not leave it out on the counter for more than two hours.
The experts at the University of Nebraska warn that when you freeze ice cream, bacteria in the air can contaminate the ice cream which could cause potential risks.
Also, for safe consumption of ice cream, consume the thawed ice cream within two days after refreezing it.
How long can ice cream sit out before it melts?
The temperature of the ice cream will determine how long you can leave it out on the counter before it melts.
Ice cream stored at 0 degrees Fahrenheit will not melt for at least two hours.
If you leave it out on the counter, the ice cream will last about 20 minutes before turning into a puddle.
Ice cream stored at 10 degrees Fahrenheit will melt within 20 minutes and ice cream stored at 20 degrees Fahrenheit will melt within 15 minutes.
To avoid wasting food if you are not going to eat the ice cream within the day, freeze it again in smaller containers.
Can I refreeze ice cream left out overnight?
No. Ice cream left out overnight should not be refrozen regardless of the content in solid ingredients.
This is because ice has already started to melt and once water gets into the ice cream, it will be unsafe to consume.
Discard the ice cream instead and buy a new one to serve to your guests or family.
How to know if ice cream has gone bad?
Here are some ways to check if your ice cream has gone bad.
In most cases, ice cream has gone bad if:
- there is any foul smell, or taste to the ice cream;
- you open the container and see any browning to the edges of the ice cream;
- when you look at the top surface, there are yellow, green or brown patches of color;
- the ice cream has a spongy texture;
- you detect any mold on top of the ice cream;
- the container is swollen, leaking or has any water droplets;
- there are signs of ice crystal formation inside the container, which means the container was not kept closed;
- the container is broken open.
If you detect any of these signs, discard your ice cream instead of refreezing it because it does not meet the safety standard required for consumption.
How long can ice cream sit out in the car?
Ice cream left out in the car can decompose within 10 minutes, even if it is stored at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
This means that ice cream can only last up to 10 minutes in the car.
Beyond this time, bacteria and microbes can grow in the ice cream.
There are some ways to detect if the ice cream is contaminated with pathogens.
Here are some ways of detecting if your ice cream is contaminated with pathogenic microbes.
- Particles of dirt or grit are present in the ice cream.
- The ice cream appears mushy or spongy.
- The ice cream has a sour taste.
When you notice these signs, it is better to discard the ice cream rather than eat it.
In summary, you can refreeze partially thawed ice cream if the ice cream is stored in a closed container and does not have any signs of contamination or physical damage.
Partially thawed ice cream with high content in many liquid ingredients, like custard can be refrozen.
While partially thawed ice cream with high content in many solid ingredients, like chocolate cannot be refrozen because the water and fat in the ice cream can separate.
Ice creams with a lower content in many liquid ingredients, like solid ingredients like vanilla and strawberry can be refrozen.
If ice cream is left out overnight, it should not be refrozen regardless of the content in solid ingredients.
Discard the ice cream instead and buy a new one to serve to your guests or family. This is to ensure safety.
Thank you for reading.