Pennsylvania milk processors have had a 17-day window to sell milk once it is pasteurized, and they say that limit has cost them business. The expiration dates on milk products are dictated by state law, and many dairy farmers said the restrictions have been too rigid compared to what you might find in other states.
“Many retail stores have a policy where they have to pull milk off a shelf when it gets to seven days of code left,” said Alec Dewey, with Harrisburg Dairies.
What is the new Pa. law?
Dairy processors are welcoming a new law that allows them to imprint a “sell by” or “best by” date on milk that extends beyond the 17-day pasteurization window under state law.
“Now, it gives the stores another two to four days, in most cases, to sell that product, for the consumer to have it in their stores. Just reducing the amount of waste and increase the amount of consumption, in our opinion,” Dewey said.
Dairy processors can seek approval from the state Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Food Safety to label milk with best-by dates that more appropriately reflect shelf life on a case-by-case basis.
Processors must submit samples of their products for testing to make sure they are safe to drink.
Dewey said it’s a process that could take a few months but he said he’s happy to get the ball rolling.