December 02, 2004

Maybe it's time we changed to the Gregorian calendar

Odd. I just noticed the carton of milk in the office refrigerator says "SELL BY DEC 12. IN NYC DEC 08." Why the discrepancy in the dates? Is New York stricter than the rest of the country about the freshness of its milk? Or do we just have crappy refrigeration in our stores? (I suspect the latter.)

Posted by Francis at 11:13 AM | TrackBack

It could also be the extra time that the milk has to stay in delivery trucks, what with the bridges and the gridlock and the honking and the clanging, HOOOYYY!

Sorry, I don't really know how to phoenitically reproduce Nutty Professor-speak.

Posted by: Mark at December 2, 2004 01:16 PM

The Times City Section's Q&A column once covered this. Their answer:
According to John Gadd, a spokesman for the city's Department of Health, milk shipped to New York is more likely to stand unrefrigerated for brief periods, both before it reaches store shelves and also on the way from store to home. "It's one of those uniquely New York sorts of things," he said. "In other parts of the country, the expiration date is often 11 or 12 days after the date of pasteurization, but our experience and research have shown that here, 9 days is a reasonable threshold."

Others disagree. Henry Beyer, a spokesman for New York State Dairy Foods, a trade group of milk wholesalers, said that refrigeration and processing practices have improved markedly since the nine-day expiration date was introduced "in the days of ice trucks," and that it was more or less ignored until the Department of Health began a recent crackdown.


Mr. Gadd and Mr. Beyer agreed that milk consumed on or shortly after the expiration date will usually be perfectly fresh.

Posted by: Tim at December 2, 2004 02:46 PM

No, the milk takes longer to get here to NYC, or gets held in case of vcontamination. There is some weird law governing this. I just can't remember why it is...

Posted by: Colleen at December 3, 2004 10:02 AM