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New York State Legislation Authorizes Manufacture and Sale of Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts Made with Liquor

On August 3, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation S7013/A8732, allowing the sale of liquor-infused ice cream in the state.  S7013 amends New York’s agriculture and markets law, public health law, and alcoholic beverage control law, in relation to authorizing the manufacture and sale of ice cream and other frozen desserts made with  liquor.  The law applies to sealed packages of ice cream made by dairy processors and manufacturers, liquor and craft beverage producers, restaurants, and other food retailers.

The measure would limit the percentage of alcohol in ice cream to not more than five percent of alcohol by volume (ABV) and would require the same product labeling and warning statements similar to confectionery that contain wine, beer, or cider.  By way of background, ice cream containing wine, beer or hard cider was already legal in the state.  Further, the law notes that ice cream, and other frozen desserts, made with wine, beer, or cider with an alcohol content of no more than five percent ABV is not considered an alcoholic beverage.

The law requires manufacturers or distributors to include statements, including “the sale of this product to individuals under the age of twenty-one years is prohibited” and “this product is made with (insert liquor, wine, beer and/or cider) and contains alcohol up to five percent by volume.”  Moreover, these products will need to include warnings such as “this product contains alcohol used as a flavoring and, as with any product that contains alcohol: (1) women should not consume alcohol during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects, and (2) consumption of alcohol impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.”

In an August 3, 2020 press release, Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that “the craft beverage industry has experienced explosive growth in New York and with that comes a responsibility to advance regulations that help ensure long-term viability, protect consumers and provide farmers with opportunities to increase their business.”

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 219

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Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...

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