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The Lounge Help! I've fed my husband and baby 1 week out of date sausages. Mar 24 2015
12:02 (UTC)

If you served it to them raw, then they might be in trouble.  But cooking them kills off most of the bacteria.

Since they've had no symptoms after 12 hours, they'll be fine.

Best before dates aren't hard and fast rules.  They're more like suggestions.  I've eaten stuff months expired.

There isn't any federal department regulating best before dates, so it's up to the manufacturer to put on whatever date they want.  Some things, like milk, they will put on a date when they think it may start to become unsafe to consume raw.  But most other things, especially dry goods like cereal, they put on a date when they feel that the taste of the product will start to change.  Cereal is actually good for years.  Unless it gets wet it'll never go bad, but it will go stale.  Similarly tinned goods will last almost forever, but after a period of time the texture and/or flavor will start to deteriorate.  It's still safe to eat, but it's not as tasty or appealing, so that's what they set the best before date to. 

Some things, like cheese have a best before date that's months ahead, but once you open it, it will start to go mouldy after a couple of weeks.  That's because the best before date is really a "sell by" date.  In it's original packaging it'll last for months, but once that packaging has been opened it becomes unsafe rapidly.  This is true of almost any food.

Now meats.  Meats are something else.  For the most part it's not the producer that puts a best before date on the meats, it's the grocer.  Most meats are packaged by the butcher.  They'll put on a date that's generally 2 weeks to a month from the date when it's packaged.  Then when it hits that date they .... repackage it and give it another 2 weeks.  Repeat as necessary until it sells.  Usually they'll zap it with pure oxygen before repackaging it.  This serves 2 purposes.  Firstly, most of the dangerous bacteria are anaerobic, which means they hate oxygen and can actually be killed by it.  So it makes the meat somewhat safer.  Not very safer since the oxygen doesn't penetrate all they way through the meat, but it does kill off some of the more dangerous bacteria on the surface.  But more importantly to the butcher, it turns the meat from an old, dark colour to a fresh pink colour, making it look fresher.  Have you ever bought hamburger meat and had it look fresh and pink on the outside, but when you broke the meat apart it was a darker colour on the inside?  Then congratulations, you've purchased meat that has been "refreshened" by this process.  Perhaps more than once.

Many times they'll simply use an oxygen hose to punch a hole in the existing packaging, pump in the oxygen, and then they'll cover the hole with a new sticker.  So if you see meat that has a second sticker on it, usually placed over the first, then congratulations, you've found meat that has passed it's best before date, been refreshened and put back out.

But they'll also zap it with O2 and then put it in new packaging.  So while a second sticker is a sure sign that the meat has been sitting there for awhile, the lack of a second sticker isn't a sure sign that it's fresher.

And that's not all.  Sometimes it starts to get obvious that the meat has been left out for a while.  That's when they'll take it back, cut off the bad bits and sell it as something else.  Roasts become steaks.  Steaks become skillet strips or stewing beef, where they cut off the obviously bad parts and sell you the rest, complete with a new best before date.  And that stuff is refreshed with O2 if it doesn't sell in time.  And if that doesn't sell then they turn it into to hamburger meat or sausages.  Store made sausage, especially the heavily spiced ones, are usually the last rung on the ladder.  They'll mix the expired meat with some fresh (usually 50/50) to spread it out a bit, and add loads of seasoning to cover up the taste of the expired meat.  Then if the sausages don't sell after a couple of refreshes, they'll freeze them.

Chicken is usually bloody obvious when it starts to turn, as the skin becomes yellow.  This is a chemical reaction that is not easily reversed by the  O2 refreshing process.  So what's a butcher to do?  Why, simply remove the skin.  Sell it as "fresh" boneless, skinless chicken and you not only get to resell your expired meat, but you also get to sell it at a higher price.  It's genius!

The best way to avoid this?  Buy roasts and cut them into steaks or stewing beef yourself.  Don't buy store-made sausages, get only the ones that are packaged by a meat company (such as Tyson or Maple Leaf).  Don't buy fresh skinless chicken.  The boxed, frozen skinless boneless chicken (sometimes called IQF or Individually Quick Frozen) are safer so long as they're not the store brand.

And don't forget, freezing meats pauses the expiration clock.  So if you do all your shopping once a week, freeze your meats except for what you plan to use the next day.

Cooking kills bacteria, so cook things well.  Hamburger meat and sausages should always be cooked all the way through.  Bacteria will start growing on the surface of the meat and only penetrate slowly, so steaks and roasts are safer to eat rare, but hamburger meat and sausages are ground up, so the surface of the meat can wind up inside the meat, and should never be eaten rare or medium.

Avoid pre-cut fruits and vegetables at the grocers.  These are usually produce that has gone bad and had the bad parts cut off.  The remaining good parts (aka: not bloody obviously bad parts) they turned into "fresh stir-fry vegetables" or fruit trays (and usually sold at a higher price than if you buy the produce whole and cut it up yourself).  If you do buy these, then use them immediately, as they'll generally start to turn after as little as a couple of days.

The Lounge A flamboyant thread w/ razzle dazzle about the 2016 presidential primary elections Mar 23 2015
17:10 (UTC)

And I can tell you as a Canadian, the fact that he has renounced his Canadian citizenship caused us all to breath a sigh or relief.  You Yanks can have him!

The Lounge A flamboyant thread w/ razzle dazzle about the 2016 presidential primary elections Mar 23 2015
14:49 (UTC)

Oh my, the birthers are going to have a field day.

Ted Cruz was born in Canada.  He's still eligible to be the president.

I want this to go ahead just to watch the fireworks.


The Lounge March Madness Mar 20 2015
16:26 (UTC)

Count yourself lucky.  It's been snowing all week here.  On Monday I had to shovel 3 feet of the white stuff out of my driveway.  Most of the rest of the week it was only 6 inches or less.

It wasn't too bad though, since Monday was my birthday and I couldn't get to work 'cause the road wasn't plowed of its 3 foot deep drifts until 6 PM.  Apparently someone got a 4x4 truck stuck at the entrance to my street and the plow couldn't get around it, so they just skipped my road until it got moved.  That meant I didn't have to go to work on my birthday.

Hey, and at least the weather has warmed up to the -2 to -3 range.  I think that converts to roughly 30 deg F.  That's right balmy compared to the week before.

The Lounge Pi day Mar 17 2015
15:35 (UTC)

due to weather and scheduling conflicts, I wound up being the only one home that day.  So I just heated up a frozen pizza (pizza pie) and made some fruit tarts.

The Lounge Google maps Mar 14 2015
12:26 (UTC)

I've been to Hell, but it was on Grand Cayman.  That one never freezes over.  And I can truly say that the road to hell is paved ... and called Hell Road.

Here's the reason why they call it Hell.

The Lounge Google maps Mar 13 2015
17:56 (UTC)

Heaven is a gay nightclub

Damn, did I accidentally say something profound?


The Lounge Terry Pratchett dies Mar 13 2015
16:10 (UTC)

The Colour of Magic and the Light Fantastic are both in a different style than his later Diskworld novels.  Those 2 are kind of tributes to the Fritz Leiber style of fantasy, or Conan books.  In his later novels he develops his own style, which is very satirical.

He also uses footnotes, and footnoted footnotes, and I'm not sure just how well that will carry across in an audiobook.

Most of his novels are stand-alone.  They revolve around recurring characters, but the situations are all independent, and plotlines don't generally carry across between books.  So realistically you can start anywhere.

You can always do them in chronological order, starting with The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic.  Just be warned that his style changes drastically after those 2 novels (although he returns to it somewhat in the novel Sourcery).

He also has many non-diskworld novels.  My favorite is Nation.

He's also England's second-best selling author, behind J.K. Rowling

The Lounge Pi day Mar 12 2015
17:18 (UTC)

that's pretty much timballo.  You use pasta as a crust and the filling is sausage mixed with stuff (typically cheese, pasta sauce, anything else).  There's no one recipe for timballo, just like there's no one recipe for a casserole. 

The Lounge Pi day Mar 12 2015
13:02 (UTC)

Man, there's so many pie recipes out there.  I had forgotten about shepherds pie.

We're going to Italy at the end of the month, so right now I'm thinking of Timballo.

The Lounge Google maps Mar 12 2015
11:01 (UTC)

There's a Dildo, Newfoundland.  It's just up the cove from Spread Eagle, NL.

There's also a town called Famished Gut, NL.  It's right next to Horse Chops, NL.

The Lounge Google maps Mar 11 2015
16:54 (UTC)

Want to take me to Funkytown?  We'll have to go to Kansas City, MO.  

The Lounge Google maps Mar 11 2015
16:51 (UTC)

The Meaning of Life can be found in Cornwall, England.

I was hoping that the street number would be 42, but no such luck.

The Lounge Google maps Mar 11 2015
14:03 (UTC)

Weird, I know he's supposed to be dead, but when I do the search for Osama bin Laden I'm told that he's in the US Embassy in London, England.

Could his death have been a coverup, and in real life he's being extraordinary renditioned?  Could he in fact be a spy working for the US government and caused the false-flag 9-11 incident?  

The Lounge Lost civilization Mar 11 2015
12:30 (UTC)

I didn't get a geology degree, but I did do several geology and paleontology courses.  Almost enough for a minor.  You don't need advanced math, just first year math credit.  You may, however require advanced physics.

The Lounge Why not just use real powdered sugar? Mar 11 2015
12:19 (UTC)
Original Post by trh:

Here is a little more information about nanoparticles in food. To me it sounds like much ado about nothing but if Dunkin' can sell more donuts by saying that they are titanium dioxide free then more powder to them.

Fixed that for ya.

Are we still calling these Beddits?

The Lounge Google maps Mar 11 2015
12:16 (UTC)

Next I asked the age old question, where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

Wow, she really gets around.  Multiple sites in my area, starting with Fed Ex shipping, but also including two insurance companies, a shoe store, An employment centre, a couple of Walmarts, A Honeywell service department, and a La-Z-Boy Gallery.

Now if only I could put all these clues together....

The Lounge Google maps Mar 11 2015
12:06 (UTC)

So next I was wondering just where do babies come from.

Pop it into Google maps, boom: Babies 'R Us at the local mall.

I can't wait to tell the kids.

The Lounge Lost civilization Mar 09 2015
17:17 (UTC)

You know, recently I've been reading (and watching Netflix documentaries) about Heinrich Schliemann (discoverer of Troy) and Arthur Evans (discoverer of Minos).  These are the two guys who kind of created the whole archaeology craze (which would peak with Carter's discovery of King Tut's tomb) and are (arguably) the founders of modern scientific archaeology. And I came across an interesting sidebar.  

These two guys were inspired by the Iliad, aka the story of Helen of Troy and the wooden horse.  The greatest warrior in the Iliad was Achilles, otherwise known as "he of the weak heel". The grave of Achilles is presumed to be on an island in the Black Sea that has never been excavated.  It has never been excavated in part because its ownership was contested between Romania, Russia and Ukraine.   It's kind of hard to get permission to excavate there when you don't know who to apply to.

Of course, Alexander the Great, who was himself a great history nerd (thanks partly to being tutored by Aristotle), felt that Achilles was buried nearer to Troy.

Anyway, neither of these sites have been excavated.  Lately I've been idly speculating about what it would take to start a dig on either of these sites, discover something, and have my name forever associated with Schliemann and Evans.

And it's got to be easier than trying to decipher Evan's still-untranslated Linear A script.

The Lounge Meanwhile in the state of Florida Mar 09 2015
16:16 (UTC)

So an owner of a pet store decides to beat his employees with a large lizard, which he was holding in his mouth.

This is the same pet store owner who had a cockroach eating contest in 2012 in which the winner died. 

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