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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: October 7, 2021 05:00 PM
From: Senator Judy Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: Frozen Dessert Law Revision
I plan to introduce legislation amending Act 215 of 1965, known as the Frozen Dessert Law.

Act 215 provides for the licensing and regulation of the manufacture and sale of frozen desserts. This law needs updated to reflect changes in regulatory and industry practices. My bill will require tests of frozen desserts sold in restaurants to be conducted on an annual basis, as opposed to the current monthly basis. Existing statutes and regulations (i.e., Milk Sanitation Law, Food Safety Act) would remain in effect to assure the safety of frozen desserts.

I was contacted by a business in my district expressing concern with the Frozen Dessert Law and the burdensome requirement that companies perform monthly sampling and testing of frozen desserts. By this point, over 2,000,000 tests have been performed, at the expense of the frozen dessert licensees, without a problem having been detected.

In addition, under the current regulatory regimen, there is a level of double inspection involving frozen desserts, with local health departments acting as licensor for the restaurant and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture acting as licensor for the frozen dessert offerings of the same restaurant. This amendment will also reduce the amount of time and resources the department expends in administering the current act.

The department has noted that neighboring states have completely done away with specific “frozen dessert” regulations and the associated requirements for monthly bacterial count testing of frozen desserts.

Public health and safety would not be jeopardized by this amendment to the Frozen Dessert Law. An annual inspection requirement will be sufficient with current food safety practices, along with restaurant licensure and inspection requirements that will remain in place under the Retail Food Facility Safety Act.

This proposal is supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this initiative which will reduce a burdensome, outdated requirement on businesses and save the state money without having an impact on the health and safety of residents.

Introduced as SB960