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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2022 01:58 PM
From: Senator Judy Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: Frozen Dessert Law Repeal
I plan to re-introduce legislation to repeal Act 215 of 1965, known as the Frozen Dessert Law. This was Senate Bill 960 of the 2021-22 session.
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 desert licensees, without a problem having been detected.

Act 215 provides for the licensing and regulation of the manufacture and sale of frozen desserts. Today, this law is duplicative and unnecessary. Since its inception in the mid-1960s, there has been a substantial increase at both the state and federal level of food sanitation laws and regulations. After the repeal of Act 215, existing statutes and regulations (i.e., Milk Sanitation Law, Food Safety Act, and the Retail Food Facility Safety Act) would remain in effect to assure the safety of frozen desserts.

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 repeal 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.

Prior legislation addressing this issue was supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association. Co-sponsors of Senate Bill 960 were Senators Martin, Mastriano, Phillips-Hill and Stefano.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this initiative, which will reduce a burdensome, outdated requirement on businesses, and save the state money without having an impact on the health and safety of residents. 
If you have questions regarding this legislation please reach out to Greg Beckenbaugh in my office at 717-787-5490 or gbeckenbaug@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB152