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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 9, 2015 03:31 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Prohibiting the sale of expired baby and infant food, and over-the-counter drugs and establishing protocol for the sale of certain expired goods in Pennsylvania
In the near future, I will introduce legislation that will protect Pennsylvania consumers from purchasing food or goods that have passed their expiration date.

You may be surprised to learn that Federal Law does not prohibit the sale of expired goods. In fact, Federal Law does not even require expiration dates on all products. As a result, it’s up to each state to formulate, implement and enforce laws deemed necessary to ensure public health and safety. The general guidelines provided by the Federal Government allow for states to have almost complete control over health regulations, including whether or not expired food is illegal to sell or distribute.

My bill prohibits retailers and individuals from selling baby formula, baby food or over-the-counter pharmaceuticals after the expiration, "use by,” or “best by” date. Additionally, my proposal prohibits the sale of expired cosmetics and all other foods unless the items are separated from the unexpired products and displayed within the store as having expired or passed their “use by” or “best by” dates.

This legislation would, first and foremost, ensure the safety of our children and the health of our residents by limiting access to baby food and over-the-counter drugs that may cause harm or prove to be ineffective as a result of expiration. Secondly, it allows for our citizens to make well informed decisions about the food and cosmetics they purchase. My bill ensures that the retailer or person selling the expired goods takes on the responsibility of advertising those goods as such. Failure to do so will result in financial penalties and, where necessary after multiple infractions, a revocation of a license to sell or operate a business that would continue to violate state law.

Please join me in establishing regulations for the sale of expired foods and goods in Pennsylvania. The health and safety of our residents, especially our children, should always be a priority. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925.

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Introduced as HB552