Use Eggs Safely in Homemade Ice Cream

Making homemade ice cream has been a tasty tradition for many families for generations. Since July is National Ice Cream Month, what better time to cool down with a homemade treat?

Eggs are an important ingredient for delicious ice cream, but it’s also critical to follow some tips so everyone can enjoy ice cream and be assured it’s safe to eat.

Eggs add flavor and color, prevent ice crystallization and create a smooth and creamy texture. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides some guidelines for safely cooking and handling the egg base to ensure the safety of your homemade tasty treats.

FDA recommends starting with a cooked egg base for ice cream. To make a cooked egg base (also known as a custard base):

1.       Combine eggs and milk as indicated in the recipe (other ingredients, such as sugar, may be added at this step.)

2.       Cook the mixture to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, stirring constantly. The cooking will destroy Salmonella, if it is present. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature, if possible. If you don’t have a food thermometer, the mixture will firmly coat a metal spoon at this temperature.

3.       After cooking, chill the mixture before adding other ingredients and freezing.

The American Egg Board has additional tips on making this custard base.

You can also substitute egg products or pasteurized eggs in your ice cream. Any recipe that calls for uncooked eggs should substitute pasteurized eggs.

Now that you know how to safely make homemade ice cream, try some recipes from the Incredible Edible Egg, like pineapple-orange frozen custard ice cream or vanilla frozen custard ice cream.

For more information on egg safety, visit the Egg Safety Center archives or FAQs. You can also follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or email questions to