Can Dry Ice Go Bad?
You might think that just as anything else, dry ice might have the possibility to go bad, to rot, or to spoil. Dry ice does disappear a lot quicker than most items, but its properties actually prevent other important things, like food, from going bad. Dry ice doesn’t technically go bad, but it certainly decreases the chance of food-borne illnesses.
Dry Ice Expiration
Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. Dry ice is made in factories by pressurizing carbon dioxide gas into liquid form, and then into solid blocks. Dry ice blocks or pellets evaporate, or rather sublimate, from its solid form into a gas. Dry ice is far too cold to touch without wearing heavy gloves and using proper tools. Still, dry ice is an expendable product, sublimating constantly until it disappears. You won’t be left with any puddles, just some extra photosynthesis material for the plants.
The rate at which dry ice sublimates depends on your dry ice storage unit. The more insulated (but not airtight!) the container, the slower the sublimation will be. Typically, dry ice loses about 5 to 10 pounds of itself every 24 hours.
Dry Ice and Food-borne Illnesses
Knowing that dry ice does not in fact go bad, but rather sublimates within a relatively short time, dry ice can be the perfect tool for keeping food for longer and keeping drinks cold. Fourth of July cookouts, camping trips, and traveling are great times to make use of dry ice. Dry ice will keep things much colder and much longer than regular ice or ice packs. It is in itself frozen, after all. For this reason, dry ice does not go bad, but actually helps other objects to keep clean of bacteria and prevents food-borne illnesses.
People get food-borne illnesses through many means, but generally through the lack of sanitation. Washing hands, washing culinary tools, washing meats, and washing fruits and vegetables is a major way to prevent bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria from growing. People can eliminate these bacteria by cooking the food thoroughly before ingesting, freezing the food, or both. Dry ice works well to eliminate and preserve foods because unlike regular ice, it produces no moisture for bacteria to latch onto. Also, its temperature is far too cold for the bacteria to live.
In sum, dry ice can’t “go bad,” but it does have a shorter shelf life. Because of this, buy only as much as you’ll need, and learn how well it does the job!
Dry Ice For All Your Needs
Dry Ice Corp is the largest regional supplier of dry ice and related products in the Northeastern United States. Our dry ice is fresh and delivered right to your doorstep. We are happy to help you determine the best way to ship your goods, whether you have a huge amount of cookies or a single pie, and help you select the perfect amount of dry ice for the job. Give us a call at (201) 767-3200 or contact us online for a quote. To connect with us online, be sure to follow us onFacebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter.