Containers of milk

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania's milk processors are one step closer to being granted more flexibility in how they label their containers for sale.

The state Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill that would allow milk processors to use a "best by" date instead of a "sell by" date.

Senate Bill 1330 also allows milk processors to request a later "best by" or "sell by" date from the state Department of Agriculture than the current 17-day milk code, after product testing.

"Other states don't have that 17-day milk code requirement, which is an arbitrary deadline and really doesn't reflect the freshness of the milk," Schwank said. "Milk doesn't necessarily spoil once you get to day 18. But consider consumers in the grocery store – they buy the carton with the latest date. This legislation will help make Pennsylvania milk the fresher choice."

Schwank said the legislation was inspired by a dairy industry study she requested in 2018. That study, she noted, suggested clarifying milk date coding requirements as a way for the state to bolster its dairy industry.

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