You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream…

…For Ice Cream or more properly “Iced” Cream, (this is one of those words that we have slang-ed much like Web Log to Blog). As we approach the Summer Solstice, the first day of summer, on Tuesday of next week, it’s time to celebrate our (all-too-brief) summer, notwithstanding that many of us have not experienced much summer-like weather yet. Nonetheless, I have already experienced more than one ice cream headache aka. brain freeze, cold stimulus headache or more accurately sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia (say that 3 times fast). It is generally agreed that the feeling of someone driving an ice pick into your eye comes from eating or drinking, very quickly, something that is cold and that object touching the roof of the mouth or back of the throat causing blood vessels to rapidly constrict and dilate where pain receptors get involved and fire off signals with some miscommunication. There is no known cure although one recommended measure is to curl your tongue and push it against the roof of your mouth.

So where is the legal aspect of this? Well I did use the word notwithstanding above…

…..however even the simple pleasure of ice cream is specifically set out in the Food and Drug Regulations, CRC c 870, as:

B.08.062 – Ice Cream

(a) shall be the frozen food obtained by freezing an ice cream mix, with or without the incorporation of air;
(b) may contain cocoa or chocolate syrup, fruit, nuts or confections;
(c) shall contain not less than
(i) 36 per cent solids,
(ii) 10 per cent milk fat, or, where cocoa or chocolate syrup, fruit, nuts, or confections have been added, eight per cent milk fat, and
(iii) 180 grams of solids per litre of which amount not less than 50 grams shall be milk fat, or, where cocoa or chocolate syrup, fruit, nuts or confections have been added, 180 grams of solids per litre of which amount not less than 40 grams shall be milk fat; and
(d) shall contain not more than
(i) 100,000 bacteria per gram, and
(ii) 10 coliform organisms per gram,
as determined by official method MFO-2, Microbiological Examination of Ice Cream or Ice Milk, November 30, 1981.

B.08.061 – Ice Cream Mix (a) shall be the unfrozen, pasteurized combination of cream, milk or other milk products, sweetened with sugar, liquid sugar, invert sugar, honey, dextrose, glucose, corn syrup, corn syrup solids or any combination of such sweeteners.

You can also find a definition of sherbert, ice milk and ice milk mix at this location. Sadly, the legislation uses the word Ice Cream rather than “Iced” Cream. Ice Cream also appears in many other pieces of legislation in throughout Canada.

In R v. Bear, 47 Alta LR (2d) 255, Cioni J. used ice cream to make a point about facts in cases, “…an ice cream vendor who optimistically wants to ring his bell for business in a quiet neighborhood at midnight can hardly raise his freedom to do so as a defence to a by-law prosecution. Some cases can be decided directly in fact.” And, in Decision No.: 2009-344 the Appeals Commission for Alberta Worker’s Compensation determined that an ice cream vehicle drivers was indeed an employee under the Alberta Worker’s Compensation Act.

So celebrate the solstice in whichever way you see fit and if are in that group of people who pays the price of enjoying your frozen treat with a stabbing pain that lasts for a very long 20-30 seconds, remember to curl your tongue and that even ice cream cannot escape legal implications.


  1. Very cool, Mark. One just can’t freeze lawyers out of the most benign areas of our social activities.

  2. The tendency for last letters, especially those that are hard to hear, to drop off words is very old and not particularly a result of slang. Every reader of Slaw with even a general interest in politics will know of the word “riding” meaning an electoral district. Apparently, in Old English, and before that in Old Norse, the word was “thriding”. But running two “th’s” together, as in “north thriding” is even more difficult to distinguish than the “d” in iced cream. So those who are screaming for iced cream can, if they wish, go riding through the thriding “to get their lickings in,” so to speak.