NYC may expire milk date rules

June 14, 2010 2:36:22 PM PDT
When you pull a carton milk off the shelf anywhere in New York City, you will notice there are two dates: sell by dates about four days apart. "It says June 24th, but in New York City the last day is the 21st. So that means by the 21st we have to pull it off the shelf," store manager Joseph Burgo explains.

But now city health officials are hoping to eliminate outdated provisions of health laws pertaining to the city's sell by date.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.