To boost the Pennsylvania dairy industry, legislation allowing milk processors more flexibility with dating products was recently passed by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Tom Wolf.
Act 62 of 2021, introduced as Senate Bill 434, will allow milk processors to use a “best by” date instead of “sell by” date, as recommended by the Dairy Future Commission. For Pennsylvania milk to compete with milk processed in other states, producers can request a “best by” or “sell by” date later that the current 17-day milk code.
The change in milk date coding was one of the recommendations from a 2018 dairy industry study requested by Sen. Judy Schwank.
“A lot of other states don’t have 17-day milk code requirements which have nothing to do with safety,” Schwank said. “Milk doesn’t spoil once you get to day 18. When consumers are in the milk aisle at the grocery store, they are going to reach for the carton with the latest date. This is putting our dairy industry at a competitive disadvantage. This legislation will change that and make Pennsylvania milk the fresher choice.”
Senators concurred with a House amendment June 22, and Wolf signed the legislation June 30.
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