milk at grocery

Pennsylvania’s Senate unanimously voted on Tuesday to relax one of the nation’s most restrictive laws on milk labeling.

Under the bill, milk bottlers would be allowed to use a best-by date instead of a sell-by date.

And companies could petition the Department of Agriculture to use a best-by date greater than the 17 days permitted by current law.

Consumers assume that the later the date code is, the fresher the product will be, according to Sen. Judith Schwank, a co-sponsor of the bill.

The bill moved quickly through the Senate — it was only introduced on Sept. 18 — as lawmakers try to make use of the last few session days on the calendar.

The bill, which now heads to the House, is one of the first action items to be addressed from the Pennsylvania Dairy Future Commission report, which was released in August.