Harrisburg, PA − June 23, 2021 − The Pennsylvania Senate voted 50-0 to approve a bill that would allow milk processors more flexibility in labeling. The legislation stems from a dairy industry study Sen. Judy Schwank (D-11th district) requested in 2018 which suggested clarifying milk date coding requirements as a way for the state to bolster the dairy industry.
SB 434 allows milk processors to use a “best by” date rather than a “sell by” date, which was one of the steps recommended by the Dairy Future Commission. The proposal also allows milk processors to request a later “best by” or “sell by” date than the current 17-day milk code, which allows Pennsylvania milk to compete with milk processed in other states.
“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.”
The bill will be headed to Governor Tom Wolf’s desk to be signed into law.