Food for Thought: You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream

By Nancy Schuster
Frontier Extension District

Hot weather calls for air conditioning and homemade ice cream! Family reunions and 4th of July always meant homemade ice cream in my family. The ice cream recipes my family used in the 50s was a safe recipe because we cooked the ice cream base that used eggs.

Occasionally I am accused of “taking the fun out of everything” so let me be clear about the risk of salmonella and raw eggs. The American Egg Board shares on its website www.incredibleegg.org: “Although the overall risk of egg contamination is very small, the risk of food borne illness from eggs is highest in raw and lightly cooked dishes. To eliminate risk and ensure food safety, replace all your recipes calling for raw or lightly cooked eggs with cooked egg recipes or use pasteurized shell eggs or egg products when you prepare them.”

foodforthoughtPasteurized shell eggs are heat-treated to destroy any bacteria, should they be present, and are especially suitable for preparing egg recipes that are not fully cooked, but may also be used for other recipes, including baked goods. The heating process may create cloudiness in the whites.

The inside of eggs that appear normal can contain a germ called Salmonella that can make you sick, especially if eggs are eaten raw or lightly cooked. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Symptoms typically appear six to 48 hours after eating a contaminated food, though this period is sometimes substantially longer. Diarrhea can be severe, and the ill person may need to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and people with weakened immune systems may get more severe illness that can even be life-threatening. Salmonella illness lasts four to seven days and people recover without antibiotic treatment.

Anyone who brings homemade ice cream to church socials, library fund raisers, and other places where a variety of people will be served should make sure their ice cream has been properly handled. When taking food to a church dinner or fund raiser, it’s your responsibility to consider the health of those you will be serving.

Here is a safe ice cream recipe from the American Egg Board:

Vanilla Frozen Custard

Custard base:

  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups milk

Ice cream:

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • Crushed ice
  • Ice cream rock salt

Custard base: Beat eggs, sugar, honey and salt in medium heavy saucepan until blended; Stir in milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is just thick enough to coat a metal spoon with a thin film and temperature reaches 160 degrees F, about 15 minutes. Do not allow to boil. Remove from heat immediately. Cool quickly. Set pan in larger pan of ice water; stir occasionally and gently for a few minutes to hasten cooling. Press piece of plastic wrap onto surface of custard to prevent a “skin” from forming. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

Ice cream: Pour chilled custard, whipping cream and vanilla into 1-gallon ice cream freezer can. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions, using 6 parts crushed ice to 1-part rock salt. Transfer to freezer containers, allowing head space for expansion; freeze until firm.

Nutrition Facts: Serving 1/2 cup; calories: 257; total fat: 18 g; (saturated fat: 10 g, polyunsaturated fat: 1 g, monounsaturated fat: 6 g); cholesterol: 151 mg; sodium: 119 mg; carbohydrates: 19 g; (dietary fiber: 0 g,) protein: 5 g; vitamin A: 800.3 IU, vitamin D: 51.2 IU, folate: 15.5 mcg, calcium: 89.3 mg, iron: 0.5 mg, choline: 76.2 mg.


2016_nancy_schusterNancy Schuster is a Frontier Extension District family and consumer science agent whose responsibilities include providing information about food safety, nutrition, food science and food preparation. She is based in the Garnett office of the Frontier Extension District and can be reached at 785-448-6826 or email [email protected].


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