But now city health officials are hoping to eliminate outdated provisions of health laws pertaining to the city's sell by date.
Shopper Ruth Sanz always looks at the date. One date should mean less confusion.
"That will be nice. It will easier to keep track. It makes sense," she said.
The laws, health officials say, go back years when it took pasteurized milk several days to reach stores and bodegas, and maybe a little longer by the time it was placed on the refrigerated shelf.
At a C-Town in Astoria, Burgo says those concerns no longer exist.
"It helps the store owner. It helps the farmers. And you have less of waste, because you actually end up throwing milk away that's perfectly good," he said.
Outside of New York City, most stores rely on the manufacturers expiration date, which health officials say is about 15 days after pasteurization.
Shopper Nelson Medina rarely paid attention to the New York City date.
"I usually go by the manufacturer's date. I never looked at the New York City date," he said.
Shoppers believe it's time for the old rules to expire.