Montana’s strict, 12-day 'sell-by' date on milk is being reinforced at the end of November. By then, all stores are supposed to have all dual labeled milk off the shelves, but the move has also caused one of the major Milk suppliers to Montana to stop distribution here.

"We have an out-of-state processor, Dairy Gold, that kind of determined that at their Spokane plant, that they will no longer be able to do the dual date product which includes the Washington date, plus the Montana date," Director of the Montana Milk and Egg Bureau Dan Turcotte said. "If a retailer wants to get Montana-dated milk, they can get it from their in-state plant."

Turcotte said the single sell-by date will help re-insure that Montana milk is fresh and that rural buyers will have about a week to drink what they purchase. He also said that the prices should be the same.

"Plants in Montana, Dairy Gold and Meadow Gold, have been assured there are distributors and what we call 'joggers' that will deliver milk to anybody that calls," Turcotte said. "They've also stated that they can easily match any price that an out-of-state supplier was previously meeting for them."

Critics of Montana’s milk law have said that about 300 smaller locations, mostly convenience stores, will be effected shortages starting this week. Turcotte said he has been assured by distributors on the eastern half of the state that they can get Montana milk to stores that request it.

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