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Nice Cream Tries to Stay Afloat

By Soyoung Kwak in Food on Aug 20, 2011 4:00PM

Image via Nice Cream Co. website
Two weeks ago, we found out that the state is attempting to hunker down on regulating small-batch ice cream makers in Illinois to conform with government standards with regards to producing and selling ice cream. Because of this recent crackdown, Whole Foods took their last order of Nice Cream last week. Nice Cream owner Kris Swanberg said that she would fight the regulations, which essentially requires small-batch makers like Nice Cream to adopt preparation and production processes that "macro" ice cream producers use.

Although Swanberg can't sell her Nice Cream at Whole Foods or even make new batches of ice cream, there are stocks of her ice cream left at independent grocers all around Chicago. The Chicago Tribune wrote that Swanberg has seen a lot of support for her products and that she is "working with all kinds of experts and organizations right now, trying to figure out what the best approach is to take with the state."

The Tribune also reported that Nice Cream had some good news amidst the growing concerns and issues raised against small-batch ice cream makers:

"We got our ice cream (even our strawberry!) analyzed by a lab," she wrote in the email. "Our bacterial levels are WAY under the states accepted levels. Which means, our ice cream is inarguably safe!"

While the state regs would require her to buy a commercial pasteurizer, she aims to show that controlled heating and monitoring of her ingredients achieves the same results. Through tests and documentation she is preparing for the state, Swanberg hopes to convince officials that she and other artisan makers can produce safe ice cream for Chicago without sacrificing quality ingredients and handmade methods.

We hope that Swanberg and other small-batch ice cream makers can defend their ice cream making processes and win over the state department of health.