Ernie is back to answer another question. This one comes to us from Bob R., in Haines City, Florida.
“My clubhouse has bought some novelty ice cream that we plan to sell in our clubhouse. How long can we store this ice cream at 0 degrees in our new upright freezer before it will develop freezer burn or go bad?”
Ernie’s Answer: Wow, in my house ice cream usually only lasts a couple hours. For the average person storing ice cream in a refrigerator/freezer, it should stay fresh and tasty for at least a month if unopened and stored at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Once we warm it up to dip (6 to 8 degrees) and then refreeze for a later day, no doubt by the third time you will be noticing changes in texture which cannot be undone.Most home freezers have automatic defrost cycles which can cause ice cream to melt slightly and re-freeze. This, as we discussed earlier on the Ice Cream Journal, can cause heat shock and limit ice cream’s overall life span.
But if you have access to a deep freeze (like Bob does) and you’re using it for long-term storage (not taking the ice cream in and out of the freezer), it should last much longer, eventually approaching the sell-by/use-by date stamped on the bottom of the container. But remember, this date is only a general guideline and not all deep freezes are the same.