Food safety is important to the public, the food industry and the Department of Agriculture. Most manufacturers are aware of the required licensing, but places that make artisan frozen desserts may not be aware of the required licensing and food safety regulations.

County environmental health departments license and inspect retail sales, and the Department oversees manufacturing of frozen desserts such as ice cream, frozen yogurt and gelato. Whether a facility needs to be licensed depends on how they are making the frozen dessert.

Converting a pasteurized mix into a frozen dessert exempts a facility from licensing as a manufacturer.

Facilities that make their own mix need a manufacturer’s license by the Department. The final mix must be pasteurized using the correct equipment (3-A approved) properly designed, installed and operated.

An exemption to this was passed in 2019. A food establishment regulated by the department of health services is not required to secure a license from the animal services division of the Department of Agriculture to manufacture frozen desserts using pasteurized milk or pasteurized milk-based products if the frozen dessert is manufactured and sold at the same food establishment for consumption on the premises and the food establishment has submitted a plan for approval to the regulatory authority under title 36 demonstrating that the manufacturing process complies with the rules adopted pursuant to section 36-136, subsection I, including pasteurization as defined in rule. The division or the regulatory authority under title 36 may require a food establishment that manufactures frozen desserts using pasteurized milk or pasteurized milk-based products to provide samples of the frozen dessert to verify that the frozen dessert is pasteurized.

If a powdered mix is reconstituted, sold on site and not stored, the final product does not need to be pasteurized. It must be pasteurized if it is going to be packaged.

Facilities that package frozen desserts for sale in a retail outlet (kiosks, grocery or convenience stores) may require a wholesale distributor’s license from the Department.

Want More Information?

For more information about frozen dessert regulations, contact Holly Mann at [email protected] or 602-542-4189.

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