You know what sucks more than the city’s laws against food trucks: the city’s shocking new opposition to ice cream. The Tribune reported on Friday that the Illinois Department of Public Health had alerted Nice Cream that it needed a “dairy license” to continue. What does it take to get one of those? Nice Cream would be required to get a separate facility — currently it works out of the Logan Square Kitchen — submit samples for regular bacteria testing, create new labels, and purchase a $40,000 pasteurizer. As you might imagine, business owners are disappointed by the news. Customers, on the other hand, seem to have the position that the government will have to pry the organic ice cream from their cold, dead hands.
The Tribune’s article currently features 118 comments, and basically every single one of them is upset. Some have posted anti-government screeds, while others have wondered whether this will encourage entrepreneurs to leave the state. Regardless, this will undoubtedly kill Chicago’s growing ice cream scene. Until it figures something out, Nice Cream can no longer be sold in stores. This is ridiculous.
Of course, if you need more proof, here are three other ridiculous things we learned from the Tribune:
• Instead of fresh, local strawberries, the IDPH recommends using strawberry syrup. It “does not encourage” using real strawberry because you have to clean them.
• Don Wilding, the Dairy Equipment Specialist for the Department, honestly suggested that Nice Cream use a premade ice cream mix, which is “formulated with stabilizers and other additives — the kind of thing typically used at Dairy Queens.”
• IDPH actually confirmed that “small operations are governed by the very same rules that apply to billion dollar ice cream companies.”
Local ice cream makers face shutdown by state [Chicago Tribune]