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Food Safety and Quality > Food Blog > Posts > Safe and Delicious Homemade Ice Cream

ice cream Homemade ice cream is a fabulous summertime treat, but beware that some ice cream recipes contain a potentially deadly ingredient – raw eggs. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 2200 illness were reported from Salmonella in eggs in 2009 and 2010. Salmonella can be transmitted from the hen to the egg yolk before the shell forms. For this reason, you should not use raw, unpasteurized eggs in recipes that will not be cooked, like homemade ice cream.

What can you do?

  • Use an eggless recipe. It's easy. The eggs add richness, but many eggless recipes taste just as good!
  • Use pasteurized shell eggs or pasteurized egg substitutes in place of raw eggs. Pasteurized eggs can be found in the dairy case near the regular eggs. Although pasteurized eggs may cost a few cents more, the pasteurization process destroys the Salmonella bacteria. Even when using pasteurized products, the FDA and the USDA advise consumers to start with a cooked base for optimal safety, especially if serving people at high risk for foodborne illness.
  • Use a recipe that contains a cooked custard base. The custard base must reach 160º F measured with a food thermometer, in order to kill the Salmonella. This is also the point that at which the mixture will coat a metal spoon. After cooking, chill the custard thoroughly before making ice cream. The American Egg Board has a basic vanilla recipe to get you started

In addition to handling eggs safely, here are some general rules to help keep homemade ice cream safe from bacteria and viruses that can cause illness.

  • Wash your hands. Bacteria won't grow in the freezer, but both bacteria and viruses can be carried on frozen foods like ice cream. Make sure your hands, utensils, and equipment are clean before you start cooking.
  • Use pasteurized milk and cream when making homemade ice cream.
  • Chill ingredients prior to use. Keeping milk, eggs, fruits, and other ingredients in the refrigerator or on ice until just prior to use will help prevent bacterial growth and will help maintain their quality.


Joni D

4/20/2014 9:45 AM
Good advice - always be careful when it comes to eggs.