Is It Dangerous To Eat Freezer Burned Ice Cream?

There's nothing like digging into those first few scoops of ice cream straight from the carton. That's when the treat is still cold, but soft enough that you don't even need a scooper for a nice big bowl of your favorite frozen dessert. After putting the carton back in the freezer, maybe you wind up forgetting all about it. A month or two later, as you're looking for something to eat, you find that same carton that's been crammed to the back, and the once-soft treat is now covered in a layer of ice crystals and has a taste reminiscent of dry ice with only the barest hint of sugary sweet ice cream.

Freezer burn is an unfortunate thing to happen to any frozen product, be it ice cream or stored meat. It's caused by evaporating moisture that leaves behind pockets of dry air that form into those rough ice patches (via The Kitchn), and sadly, freezer burn can change the taste and texture of your favorite frozen foods. But are they still safe to eat, and should you decide to swallow your pride and dig in anyway? How can you prevent freezer burn from happening to begin with? We got the answers.

It's still safe to eat, but the taste might be off

While freezer burn may not make your ice cream look or taste as sweet as you remember it to be, according to Allrecipes, there's no real harm in eating it once it happens. It may not be the most enjoyable sundae in the world, but aside from a slightly off taste, you'll be none the worse for wear. Even so, although it's mostly harmless, is there anything you can do to keep freezer burn from happening again?

Allrecipes suggests keeping your stored foods air tight, such as storing the ice cream container in another super sealed container to prevent oxygen from getting in. They also suggest placing the ice cream closer to the back of the freezer instead of the relatively warmer front section. Ben & Jerry's even has a few tips for keeping ice out of your ice cream. They suggest layering wax or parchment paper over the surface before you place the lid on, as well as storing partially-melted ice cream upside down, or even using a knife to cut off the freezer-burned top layer of your ice cream before eating it again.

Though, perhaps the best way to prevent freezer burn in your ice cream is the simplest and most straight-forward: Simply eat it all in one go. But, if you're not Joey Chestnut in training, maybe it's better to stick to these other expert tips.