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Get the Scoop on Standards for National Ice Cream Month

New York, Jul 31, 2013

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan officially designated July as National Ice Cream Month in the United States. And every year since, the month has been celebrated across the country, serving as a reminder of the wide appeal of ice cream as a post-meal treat and a way to beat the summer heat. Thanks to voluntary consensus standards, celebrating National Ice Cream Month and enjoying ice cream year round can be sweet, safe, and satisfying.

With milk and cream at the base of most ice cream, the effective, responsible raising of dairy cattle plays a big role in ensuring the continued availability of the frozen treat. A standard from American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) provides management guidance related to the raising of livestock, including dairy cattle. ANSI GELPP 0001-2002, Good Environmental Livestock Production Practices (GELPP): Concentrated Livestock Operations - General Site Conditions, covers livestock operations seeking to demonstrate effective environmental stewardship and reduce negative environmental impacts, and is based on management practices created by experts from government, industry, and academia.

Once the cows have been milked, most modern dairy facilities make use of piping systems to transport the raw milk from one part of a dairy plant to another. ASME A112.20.1-2004, Qualification of Installers of High Purity Piping Systems, sets down performance criteria and minimum training requirements for high purity piping systems, including systems used by the dairy industry. The standard, which was developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer ASME, is intended to boost efforts to maintain critical piping cleanliness in this and other sectors dependent on high purity piping.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) more than one billion gallons of U.S. milk were used to produce ice cream in 2011. With a number like that, keeping milk and milk products free from pathogens and other potentially dangerous contaminants is monumentally important. An International Standard from the International Organization of Standardization (ISO), ISO 6887-5:2010, Microbiology of food and animal feeding stuffs - Preparation of test samples, initial suspension and decimal dilutions for microbiological examination - Part 5: Specific rules for the preparation of milk and milk products, provides rules for preparing samples of milk and milk products for microbiological inquiries. The standard was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 34, Food products, Subcommittee (SC) 9, Microbiology. ANSI member the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS) serves as the ANSI-accredited administrator of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO TC 34 and ANSI currently serves as the U.S. TAG Administrator to SC 9, with financial and technical support from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

For those who prefer to celebrate National Ice Cream Month by picking up an ice cream sandwich from their local convenience store, an American National Standard from NSF International, an ANSI member and audited designator, has you covered. NSF/ANSI 7-2009, NSF/ANSI Standard 7: Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers, features requirements for freezers and refrigerators used to display and store food, including the sort of ice cream cabinets seen at many bodegas and gas station check-out counters. ASTM F1604-09, Standard Specification for Freezers, Ice Cream, Soft Serve, Shake, on the other hand, sets down specifications for commercial freezers that preserve and dispense soft-serve ice cream and other ice cream–based treats at locations like ice cream shops, snack bars, and ice cream trucks. The standard, developed by ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International, covers both conventional and heat-treatment freezers and does not address safety concerns related to the use of such freezers.

However you choose to enjoy National Ice Cream Month, standards will be there to help support the many businesses – from dairies to dispensers – that work together to bring you so many delicious flavors of your favorite frozen dessert.

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