HealthHow your favorite summer treat might make you sick: The hidden risks of defrosted and refrozen ice cream

How your favorite summer treat might make you sick: The hidden risks of defrosted and refrozen ice cream

Before you eat ice cream, pay attention to two details. They could save your life.
Before you eat ice cream, pay attention to two details. They could save your life.
Images source: © Licensor | ckarlie

9:43 AM EST, January 14, 2024

Did you know that ice cream that has been defrosted and re-frozen can harm your health? It's true, and understanding how to recognize these batches can save you from a potential health risk.

Identifying Defrosted and Re-frozen Ice Cream

First of all, the texture of defrosted and refrozen ice cream becomes remarkably different. Once thawed, ice cream loses its creamy texture; upon re-freezing, it could develop large ice crystals. These hard chunks of ice make the ice cream less velvety and more crunchy.

Secondly, the packaging's appearance also changes. If the ice cream had been thawed, water droplets would appear on the packaging. These droplets, upon refreezing, form frost - leaving a white residue on the box.

The Hazards of Consuming Defrosted and Re-frozen Ice Cream

The issue is more than just a decline in taste and texture. Ice cream is viable for bacterial growth, including harmful pathogens.

At room temperature, many of these organisms begin to multiply rapidly. Some of them, such as Listeria monocytogenes or Salmonella, can survive and grow at low temperatures. Refreezing the ice cream won't destroy the existing bacteria.

The Risks of Eating Defrosted and Re-frozen Ice Cream

Eating such ice cream can result in food poisoning. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever, and they can appear a few hours or even days after eating the contaminated product.

In severe cases, food poisoning could lead to serious complications like meningitis and sepsis or even death. This risk is particularly significant for people with weakened immune systems.

Even a dessert as innocent as ice cream can become a source of health complications. So, take a closer look at your frozen treat before digging in.

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