It is a common occurrence to put ice cream in the fridge and forget about it, to later find that it has melted thoroughly. You might wonder whether you should just throw it away, or put it in the freezer so it gets in a solid form again and eat it again later. So, what should you actually do when the ice cream has melted in the fridge?
If you forget your ice cream in the fridge, it is safe to refreeze it and get it ready for eating later in its original form. However, if the ice cream melted on way home, refreezing it would be unsafe since there is a chance for bacteria to multiply and spoil the ice cream thoroughly.
This is your chance to learn how to maintain ice cream in the right way, and what to do when it melts in your fridge. This article contains information about how long can ice cream last in the fridge and whether it is safe to refreeze it once it has melted.
After you read the whole article, you will know what is considered safe when it comes to ice cream stored in the fridge, and whether it is possible to keep it in there for some time.
Does Ice Cream Go Bad in the Fridge?
Since the original texture of ice cream is solid and firm, it is not recommended that you put it inside the fridge. This way you are running the risk of spoiling your ice cream, so you will not be able to eat it later, and you will be forced to throw it away. Due to the fact that you are supposed to keep the ice cream in the freezer instead of the fridge, it is not recommended that you ever store it in the fridge.
However, it can happen that you accidentally put your ice cream in the fridge and then forget about it. It might be okay for a day or two, but if it stays within one week or two, it will probably get sour or bacteria will multiply inside of it. Ice cream is a good place for bacteria to spread and get all over it.
Therefore, it is not recommended that you eat or refreeze ice cream that has stayed in the fridge for more than two or three days. Ice cream that has stayed in the fridge for over a week or more should not be eaten in any case, and you should throw it away immediately. 
How Long Can Ice Cream Last in the Fridge?
When it comes to storing ice cream in the fridge, the no-risk case for eating it later would be after one or two days. Generally, ice cream can last in the fridge for about a week or sometimes two. However, some ice cream ingredients cannot withstand fridge temperatures, so the ice cream might go off even within a few days.
Therefore, it is not recommended that you experiment with already melted ice cream that has stayed in the fridge for some days. It is wiser to get rid of the ice cream altogether. This is due to the fact that sometimes bacteria can spread quite faster than we expect, so you should not risk your gut health at any cost, especially if you have a sensitive metabolic system.
Can You Refreeze Ice Cream?
Usually, it is considered risk-free to refreeze ice cream that was left in the fridge for about a few days. This is not a long time for the ice cream to spoil or go sour, so you can safely refreeze it again.
However, you should always check the texture and the smell of the ice cream before you decide to refreeze it. Depending on the type of ice cream, sometimes you can smell that something is not right, and you might notice some changes in the texture. If you notice some of these signs, you should get rid of the ice cream and not risk your health for something that you can buy anytime you want.
Can You Eat Melted Ice Cream?
If the melting has happened in the last few hours then it is probably okay to eat it. However, it would be totally unsafe to eat ice cream that has stayed melter for a long period of time. Ice cream contains a certain amount of sugar that when it is melted is a great place for bacteria to grow and spread.
It would be unsafe and irresponsible to eat ice cream that has stayed melted for the whole day due to running the risk of getting food poisoning or something similar. Sometimes, even refrozen ice cream might be dangerous, so you should definitely not try it.
What to Do With Ice Cream Melted on Way Home?
If ice cream has melted thoroughly due to warm temperatures, then it would be unsafe to refreeze it and eat it later. Ice cream that has melted in cold temperatures, for instance in the fridge, is not the same as ice cream that has melted at room temperature. Therefore, it would not be wise to refreeze the already melted ice cream that has not been kept in the cold.
An exception would be if the ice cream has melted slightly due to warm temperatures once you take it put from the store until you arrive home. That is a short time which is not regarded as dangerous, and it is usually not enough time for bacteria or mold to spread and grow all over the ice cream.
How to Store Ice Cream in the Fridge?
If you do not have any other option, i.e. your only option for your ice cream is in the fridge, then you need to know the proper way for storing it.
For this to be done successfully, you will need freezer bags that will keep the ice cream cold and there will be additional insulation. In addition, once you place the ice cream container in one of these bags, you might add some ice around it, if possible. This will keep the ice cream cold for a longer time than usual.
How Long Does It Take For Ice Cream to Melt in the Fridge?
The melting process can happen really quickly, but it also depends on the size of the ice cream container. However, the usual amount of time needed for ice cream to melt in the fridge is around ten to thirty minutes. For this amount of time, the ice cream will soften, but it will still be cold, therefore, you might still eat it safely.
As you can see, ice cream can be eaten after melting, as long as the process does not happen a long time before eating. Therefore, bear in mind that melted ice cream can be a place for bacteria to spread, so it is not always safe for eating.
Why Does Ice Cream Melt in the Fridge?
The ingredients in ice cream are supposed to be maintained and stored at temperatures below zero, usually, -17 degrees. When you put your ice cream in the fridge, the ingredients cannot hold together, and they start melting. This is when sugar starts degrading and increases the possibility of bacteria growth.