Shelf Life of
Ice Cream

How Long Does Ice Cream Last?

How Long Does Ice Cream Last?

Shelf Life of Ice Cream

How long does ice cream last? The shelf life of ice cream depends on a variety of factors, such as the best before date, the preparation method and how it was stored. Because of its creamy texture and delicious varieties it is probably the sweetest treat in the dairy category. Eating ice cream releases endorphins – a natural feel good hormone in the brain. It’s often considered a guilty pleasure – enjoyed after a bad day or a break-up as a mood enhancer, and then blamed in the morning when it settles on the hips.

So, how long does ice cream last? When properly stored, the shelf life of ice cream beyond its best before date is approximately …

(Unopened) Freezer
Past Printed Date
Ice Cream lasts for 2-3 Months
Sherbert lasts for 3-4 Months
(Opened) Freezer
Ice Cream lasts for 1-2 Months
Sherbert lasts for 2-3 Months




Of course, ice cream lasts for a shorter period of time if it is not stored properly. But remember, ice cream, unlike a lot of other dairy products, usually has a best before date and not a use by date or sell by date. Because of this distinction, you may safely use it to satisfy your taste buds even after the best before date has lapsed. Many wonder does ice cream go bad, it might seem unlikely, but it does.

How to tell if ice cream is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety discipline will help prevent food borne illness. To tell if ice cream has gone bad, look closely at the ice cream. A common trait of bad ice cream is very tiny ice shards forming on top of the ice cream and under the lid of the container. At the beginning, this top layer can be removed so you can still indulge to the bottom of the carton. But after these ice crystals have taken root they will turn the entire carton to a gooey, icy texture that you will not want to mess with. There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled ice cream, so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your ice cream prior to the eat by date.

How to store ice cream to extend its shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the expiration date of food. You can help ice cream keep fresh longer by storing it in your freezer immediately after use. Once prepared (if homemade) or opened from the carton, ice cream should be stored in a tightly closed container to keep out moisture and other contaminants. The original container works well, but you can slightly extend the shelf life of ice cream by using a Tupperware container made to properly store ice cream. Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

How long is ice cream good for when prepared in a dish?

How long does ice cream last? That depends. How long does cake last? In general, ice cream will be the first ingredient to spoil, unless you’re making a freezer dish. But as always, ice cream lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below!

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What are our shelf life resources?

Our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of ice cream.

*An important note about expiration dates …

Although the ice cream shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and never replace the advice of your health care professional. So, how long will food last? Let’s find out!