Debate On Milk Freshness Continues - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Debate On Milk Freshness Continues

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As it stands, any milk sold in Montana must be stamped with a "sell-by" date. Now, that rule is set to change.

Ashley Bilyeu purchases milk from Orange Street Food Farm on a regular basis.

"I go through one bottle in just two days," Bilyeu said.

With a debate stirring over milk in Helena, Bilyeu may see a simple change in the bottles of milk she buys in the near future.

With the "sell-by" date marked on the bottle, many customers don't know they can still use the product five to seven days after this date. At least that's the argument a Helena District Court Judge heard from a California-based food distributor, who wants the "sell-by" stamp changed to a "use-bye."

Dairy Manager at Orange Street Food Farm, Randy Stevens, said the small change in the stamp, may not be so small for his business.

"The milk is good way past the "sell-by" date, but it stops a lot of customers from buying, because the fact it says that date on it," Stevens said.

Currently, a Montana rule says milk sold in Montana must be stamped with a "sell-by" date of 12 days after it's pasteurized. The "sell by" rule indicates the last day a store can sell the product before pulling it from the shelves. The"used-by" indicates the date in which a product can be consumed.

"It'd give us five to seven more days to sell the milk," Stevens said.

While many dairy managers like Stevens say the "used by" stamp would get more customers buying milk and letting less go to waste, Montana's milk-producing industry has supported the current rule for years.

As a customer, Bilyeu said the change wouldn't have much of an impact.

"I really wouldn't think there'd be much of a difference," she said.

The Helena District Judge on the case said he is issuing a ruling after getting written arguments from both sides.
 

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