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Environmental Health
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Semi-frozen (Soft–Serve) Milk Products

Soft-Serve means Semi-frozen milk products including, ice cream, frozen dairy dessert, frozen yogurt, nondairy frozen dessert or milk shake products that are manufactured into a semi-frozen state in a freezing device (Soft-Serve machines) from which those products are served directly in a semi-frozen state, without packaging of any type, for consumption on the premises, in or from rooms where food is served to the consumers.

Except for nondairy frozen dessert mix, all mixes so used shall be secured from a licensed manufacturer of milk products.

Ice cream mix, frozen yogurt mix, frozen dairy dessert mix, frozen dessert mix, and nondairy frozen dessert mix shall be manufactured into a semi-frozen state without adulteration and freezing device, salvage shall not be reused as a mix.

The Serve-Serve machines must meet strict sanitation requirements and must be licensed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture – Milk and Dairy Foods Safety Branch. The license application shall be obtained from the Los Angeles County Environmental Health - Food and Milk Program. The Program provides inspection services, collects the application and fees, and collects soft serve product samples from these machines on a routine basis for laboratory bacterial, yeast and mold testing.

Semi-frozen (Soft–Serve) Milk Products Plant License ($225 fee; license expires on December 31 of each year; fee is prorated for businesses started after March 31; penalties apply when not renewed within statutory deadline):

A soft–serve license is required for anyone selling soft–serve ice cream, milk shakes or frozen yogurt. These manufactured products must be served directly in a semi-frozen state, without packaging of any type, for consumption on the premises in or from rooms where food is served to the public (§33704(a), FAC).

Limited Packaging Milk Products Plant Permit (initial $300 fee, annual renewal fee $150; penalties apply when not renewed within statutory deadline):

A Limited Packaging Permit may only be issued to a licensed semi-frozen (soft serve) milk products plant for on premises manufacture and packaging of hard frozen dairy products or dairy product novelties after an inspection and approval. Manufacture and packaging of hard frozen dairy product novelties shall be done when the establishment is closed to the public, the hard frozen products may not be sold for resale, Reconstitution of dry mix or condensed mix is prohibited, and each individually packaged hard frozen novelty shall be labeled with the name of the product and the name and address of the manufacturer (§3704(b), FAC).

A Limited Packaging Permit may only be issued to a licensed semi-frozen (soft–serve) plant. The fee for a limited packaging permit is in addition to the fee required by the semi-frozen (soft–serve) license fee.

A Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) shall be submitted to the Food and Milk Program for review before submitting the limited packaging permit application. An annual onsite evaluation of compliance with the specific permit conditions shall be completed prior to renewal.


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Director of Environmental Health
Angelo J. Bellomo
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