When the weather is warm or it's summertime, the craving for a refreshing ice cream is almost irresistible. However, if you're a fan of soft-serve, you might want to think twice.
The hidden dangers of soft-serve
While some people prefer fruit-flavored popsicles, others lean towards creamy and soft ice cream. Unfortunately, the latter may not be a wise choice, especially if you want to avoid getting sick.
5 reasons to rethink your soft-serve choice
Soft-serve machines harbor harmful bacteria: Soft-serve comes from a machine, making it susceptible to contamination if not cleaned properly. According to Janilyn Hutchings, a certified food safety professor, soft-serve machines should be "cleaned and disinfected every 10-24 hours."
Cleaning these machines is challenging: The machines often contain removable parts that need to be cleaned separately, making the cleaning process complex. Even if employees know how to clean them, this task is often overlooked.
The soft-serve mix can also be contaminated: Many soft-serve bases are unpasteurized and must be stored at just below freezing temperatures. However, this creates an environment where bacteria can grow rapidly.
Bacteria can make you seriously ill: Over the years, there have been numerous cases of food poisoning caused by soft-serve. In 2005, over 120 people in Ohio fell sick due to a machine contaminated with staphylococcus.
There are safer alternatives: Don't panic; there are other ways to satisfy your soft-serve cravings. You can make your own at home with a few simple ingredients or let regular ice cream soften for a few minutes and then whip it to a creamy texture.