By Shannon Snoes
I recently got sick from eating packaged sausage - despite cooking it by the book - and checking it with a meat thermometer
So, i called the company to let them know - of course making sure i didn't goof up and use old meat - before i did so.
After inspecting the package - I discovered the only 2 sets of numbers included the upc label - and a stamped 8235 - I didn't see a "best before" date or "packaged on" date anywhere.
But it turns out, after speaking with company officials, that the stamped 4 digit number is their version of a "packaged on" date
The first number stands for the year and the last three digits - the day of the year it was packaged on - so in this case, the 235th day of 2008.
Since when do you need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how old something is?
I politely asked my customer service agent how - without shopping with a company rep - was I supposed to know or figure that out?
Apparently my comments will be forwarded on to marketing research - "apology meat vouchers are being sent my way" - and my customer service rep handled the call as well as could be expected - as he doled out "again, I'm terribly sorry m'am" every few minutes
Certainly my remarks about what could be a potential life and death situation are more worthy being brought to the attention of some guy in a shirt and tie in a board room trying to figure out how to market the newest product?
Thankfully I wasn't sicker than I was -- but I'm still greatly disturbed.
Why would a company create a "packaged on date" only they understood, when it's us, who buy the product and need to know that information?
More importantly - does our government know about this sort of system and how it means nothing to the average person buying the product?
And finally - i wonder, how do you put a dollar value in meat vouchers on my loss of time at work - and having to deal with a very sick household?
I guess I'll find out in 5 to 7 business days.
From Where I Sit, I'm Shannon Snoes