How Long Does Ice Cream Last Once Opened?


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Blue Arrow
2-4 months (best quality)


Shelf Life Tips

  • How long does opened ice cream last? The precise answer to that question depends to a large extent on storage conditions — keep ice cream frozen at all times.
  • How long does opened ice cream last in the freezer? Opened ice cream that has been kept constantly frozen at 0°F will maintain best quality for about 2 to 4 months in the freezer.
  • To maximize the shelf life of ice cream after opening, place plastic wrap over the surface of the exposed ice cream before re-closing the package; this will minimize the formation of ice crystals and prevent the loss of texture.
  • Is opened ice cream safe to eat after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, if properly stored - commercially packaged ice cream will typically carry a "Best By," "Best if Used By," Best Before, or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the ice cream will remain at peak quality.
  • How long will opened ice cream remain safe to eat? Opened ice cream that has been kept constantly frozen at 0°F will keep safe indefinitely, as long as it has been stored properly and the package is not damaged.
  • How long does opened ice cream last at room temperature? Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F; opened ice cream should be discarded if left for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Can you re-freeze ice cream that has melted or thawed out? If opened ice cream thaws completely, discard it — do not refreeze, as harmful bacteria may develop.
  • How to tell if ice cream is bad? Ice cream that has been stored too long will typically develop ice crystals on the surface and the ice cream will lose its creamy texture; ice cream that develops an off odor or flavor should be discarded.

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