How Long Can Ice Cream Last in the Freezer?

Ice cream is a freezer staple, but how long does it last in the freezer? If long-term storage is your concern, we’ve got your back. Here’s what you need to know about how long ice cream lasts in the freezer.

How Long Can You Store Ice Cream in the Freezer?

If your ice cream is still in its original container, it can last for months beyond its sell-by date. It should stay fresh for at least two months. It may even last longer, but its flavor and texture will be best within those two months. The exact shelf life depends on the type of container it’s in and whether or not it has been opened.

How Long Does Unopened Ice Cream Stay Fresh?

Freezing ice cream in an airtight container slows down bacteria growth and increases its shelf life. Even after it passes its expiration date, it should be safe to eat. However, it won’t taste as delicious as when it was first made or bought. The same goes for other frozen treats like popsicles, fudge bars, and sorbet.

What do Ice Crystals Mean for the Quality of Your Ice Cream?

Ice crystals are natural, but they can indicate that your ice cream isn’t as fresh as it used to be. Tiny ice crystals form when you let the ice cream sit for too long. Water molecules separate from the rest of the mixture and freeze together individually.

They’re an indication that your ice cream has thawed into a gooey and icy mess and then been refrozen, which means it’s no longer as smooth and creamy as it was when you first got it. If you see a lot of crystals in your ice cream, you might have bad ice cream.

Can Ice Cream Go Bad?

If you’ve stored your opened ice cream for longer than recommended or if you notice any mold, freezer burn, or off-flavors, it’s time to toss the ice cream. These are all signs that bacteria is growing, and it’s not safe to eat anymore. When it comes to expired ice cream, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Tips for Storing Ice Cream

If you want to keep your ice cream around for a while, you can do a few things to make sure it stays fresh.

First, try not to open the container too often. Every time you open it, more cold air escapes, raising the chances of freezer burn. It also degrades your ice cream’s quality.

Second, make sure the ice cream is tightly sealed. Air is the enemy of frozen food, and it will make your ice cream go bad faster. Use plastic wrap or aluminum foil to seal the container tightly.

Finally, don’t store it next to anything with a strong odor. The ice cream will absorb those smells and flavors, and it won’t taste good anymore.

Final Thoughts

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to storing typical ice cream. Make sure you follow the food safety techniques and tips listed above, and your frozen treats and ice cream cakes should last for months in food storage. Just enjoy the creamy texture of your homemade ice cream cake before it goes bad!


Hi there! My name is Caroline Stevens, and I am an American mom of three wonderful children. I started this blog to help everyday families be more sustainable and save money by preventing food waste. I currently live in Wisconsin, and enjoy crafting, cooking at home, and traveling. I have a degree in art and previously worked in the restaurant business.