Breaking down cuts of meat into pieces small enough to fit into sausage casing and join together during the cooking process renders the original meat source as unidentifiable. But the cutting, chopping, and grinding necessary to make meat fit into casing also allows an amazing scientific process to unfold.
Once decontaminated, shoppers unload their dozen or so shopping bags and put foodstuffs in their proper places: canned tuna in the pantry, fresh chicken thighs in the refrigerator, and frozen peas in the chest freezer. But how long will all that food last? Is it wise to buy so much food at once? To answer these questions, let us consider label dates and how to interpret them.