2020 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 24 - Food and Drugs
Section 24:10-57.23 - Container regulations

24:10-57.23. Container regulations

23. Containers of milk, certified milk, Vitamin D milk, homogenized milk, low fat milk, protein fortified low fat milk, skim milk, protein fortified skim milk, nonfat milk, protein fortified nonfat milk, flavored milks and dairy drinks, buttermilk, cultured buttermilk, yogurt, eggnog, creams, half-and-half and all other fluid milk products designated by the department shall be marked with the name and address of the processor or the pasteurizing plant number as assigned by the department or the state of origin and the name and address of the distributor. All containers of fluid milk products, including those mentioned above, intended for sale to consumers, (except for those products which are sterilized and packaged in hermetically sealed containers), shall be marked with a legend "NOT TO BE SOLD AFTER" , or "SELL BY" , or any other clearly understandable legend approved by the department, followed or accompanied by the first three letters of the month where possible, but in no instance less than two letters, or numerical designation approved by the department to designate the month and the day of the month which shall be a date established by the processor and which shall be based on consideration of wholesomeness and consumer palatability of the product. If two letters are used the letters MR shall mean MARCH and MY shall mean MAY; JN shall mean JUNE and JL shall mean JULY. No fluid milk product listed in this section shall be sold or offered for sale after 11:59 p.m. of the date appearing on the containers so marked.

The processor, prior to determining the date beyond which any such fluid milk product may not be sold or offered for sale, shall notify the department of the intended "shelf-life expiration date" selected by him for such fluid milk product intended for sale. All data and material used by the processor or manufacturer in his determination of this date shall be made available to the commissioner upon request. If the data and material submitted does not, in the opinion of the commissioner, justify the "shelf-life expiration date", the commissioner shall prohibit the sale of the product until such time as satisfactory data is supplied or until a new "shelf-life expiration date" consistent with the data is applied to the product.

The department shall periodically review the keeping quality of milk and milk products by scientific shelf-life tests, recognizing the different methods of pasteurization, processing and packaging, to determine that shelf-life expiration dates stated on the containers assure the consumer of acceptable quality milk and milk products when kept under normal storage conditions. Samples for shelf-life evaluation will be obtained at the processing plant, from delivery trucks or from retail outlets. The temperature of the sample at the time of collection shall be officially recorded by the collector. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prohibit the department from taking special samples for analysis and making special tests in order to assure all milk and milk products comply with the minimum standards of freshness, quality and palatability. In the event the department determines a processor's or a manufacturer's shelf-life for a given product is improper, the department shall immediately take such samples as are necessary for full and complete recheck of the shelf-life of the product. If the full and complete recheck confirms that the shelf-life of the product is improper, the department shall serve written notice on the processor or manufacturer and the processor or manufacturer immediately upon receipt of such notice shall alter the shelf-life expiration date of the product to comply with the department findings. Compliance shall be with the next processing of the product after receipt of such department notice. This rule does not apply to containers of fluid milk products which are not to be sold in the State of New Jersey.

L.1964,c.62,s.23; amended 1967,c.92; 1972,c.52,s.3; 1979,c.330; 1992,c.151.

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