Bad News for Ice Cream Lovers: Reasons You Should Never Eat Soft Serve Ice Cream

Bad News for Ice Cream Lovers Reasons You Should Never

Summer is coming and for many, summer is synonymous with ice cream. But when you stroll along the beach, don’t let yourself be tempted too quickly by an Italian ice cream…

Summer is here and for many of us that means one thing: it’s ice cream time. What could be better than a delicious ice cream to cool off in the summer heat? Some prefer sorbets, while others swear by the softness and smoothness of soft serve ice cream. Unfortunately, it turns out that the latter choice might not be the wisest one. In fact, you shouldn’t even touch it – at least, if you want to avoid getting sick. Here are 5 reasons why you should never choose soft-serve ice cream to satisfy your ice cream craving.

  1. Soft-serve ice cream makers may contain dangerous bacteria

Since soft ice cream is served by a machine, it is susceptible to contamination if these machines are not properly cleaned. According to Janilyn Hutchings, certified food safety teacher, “Soft ice cream machines should be cleaned and sanitized every 10 to 24 hours.” If restaurant managers or ice cream suppliers aren’t rigorous in regular cleaning, machines can quickly develop mold or, worse, become a breeding ground for all sorts of invisible bacteria.

  1. …And these machines are difficult to keep clean

Cleaning these machines is no small feat. According to the professor, these machines often contain parts that can be dismantled and cleaned, while others must be cleaned on the machine itself. Training employees to properly dismantle and clean machines can be difficult, and even if employees know how to do it correctly, Janilyn Hutchings says this task is “often overlooked” in staff cleaning routines. It is therefore very likely that the machine from which your Italian gelato is not cleaned sufficiently.

  1. Preparing gelato can also easily become saturated with bacteria

Some soft-serve ice creams are made from an unpasteurized base that must be kept at a cool temperature, just below freezing. This temperature range ensures that the ice cream, which already contains natural bacteria and has a high potential for rapid growth due to high humidity, remains safe to eat. However, this is an incredibly specific and incredibly difficult limit to maintain. There’s a good chance your ice cream was exposed to all kinds of bacterial growth before it ended up in your cone.

  1. And all those bacteria can make you seriously sick

Over the past few decades, many cases of food poisoning have been caused by eating soft serve ice cream. In 2005, more than 120 people in Ohio fell ill after an ice machine was contaminated with staph.

  1. There are other ways to enjoy soft serve ice cream

At this point, you might be tempted to give up soft serve ice cream forever. Yes, soft serve served from a machine might not be the safest option, but there are other ways to satisfy your soft serve craving. For example, you can take any regular ice cream, let it melt for a few minutes, then whip/stir the ice cream to make it smooth and creamy.