HARRISBURG – State senators approved a measure updating “sell by” and “best by” date labeling for pasteurized milk in PA. Currently, state regulation requires milk to be labeled for sale within 17 days of pasteurization. Bill sponsor, Beaver County Sen. Elder Vogel says the current regulation puts PA-produced milk at a disadvantage. He said the current 17-day requirement is unrealistic when it comes to milk’s actual shelf life. Current regulations makes it impossible for processors to bid to provide milk to those who want to sell through national food suppliers and wholesalers. Those suppliers typically require a longer “sell by” date interval, which prevents PA farmers from getting these contracts. Senate Bill 434 would allow milk processors to apply for Department of Agriculture approval to exceed the 17-day limitation by moving to a science-based “open code” format. It also establishes testing requirements and standards, including dairy laboratory criteria, bacterial testing of samples, and continued periodic testing, which must be met for milk processors to receive Department approval. The bill now goes to the PA House.

SENATOR ELDER VOGEL