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Product Shelf Life

Longest Proven Shelf Life. Period

We take pride in the shelf life of Mountain House freeze-dried foods. Our nearly 50-year history of using top-quality ingredients, the highest processing standards, and premium packaging materials allows for a shelf life that is unmatched.

We are the only brand to fully cook our meals before freeze drying. We make our meals like you do at home, in a cookpot (granted ours is a tad bit bigger), which allows the flavors to mix just right like your meals do at home.

Our food also doesn't sit in the warehouse forever either. This means when you buy our food from us, it will still have the longest shelf life in the industry.

The rest is up to you: store food under dry, sanitary conditions, without prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures and avoiding any environment that could cause damage to the packaging, such as punctures, dents, or rust. Simply follow these common sense storage tips and you will have emergency food when you need it.

Pouches — 12-Year Shelf Life *Mountain House Pouch

Based on our ongoing sensory and nutrition testing of actual Mountain House products, in 2014 the shelf life was increased by an impressive 20%, from 10+ years to 12+ years! We add the "+" to let our consumers know that our food will taste virtually indistinguishable from new for at least 12 years and probably much longer than that! We've tasted pouches that were 30 years old and the food was still quite tasty!

Remember that we recommend storing your pouches unopened and avoid prolonged exposure to temperatures above 75° (24°C) to maximize shelf life.

Click here see our selection of meals!

*Ice cream products have a 2-year shelf life.

"Just in Case..."® Bucket Assortments — 12-Year Shelf Life

Packed in sturdy, reusable buckets, our "Just in Case..."® assorments are easy to store, easy to carry and have the same fantastic 12-year shelf life as our pouches. Perfect as part of your 72-hour, earthquake or emergency kit. We provide 3 different assortments to fit your family's needs.

#10 Cans — 25-Year Shelf LifeMountain House #10 Cans

Best Survival, Long Term Emergency Food On The Market

Specially packed in airtight #10 cans, Mountain House freeze-dried foods have the longest proven shelf life available. Period. We confidently claim a 25+-year shelf life, because our testing has shown the shelf life exceeds 25 years! We've had independent studies performed on actual 20-, 25- and 30-year-old product stored under real-world conditions, which weren’t always ideal — not on newer product exposed to an accelerated-time environment in a laboratory. In addition, we have personally tasted cans that were 35 years old and still taste great!

Our canning process meets stringent U.S. Military specifications. Your food is protected until you are ready to enjoy it.

After opening, we recommend using the dry contents within one week for best results and taste, using the convenient resealable plastic lid between uses.

After hydration, treat any leftover hydrated food as you would fresh food.

Because we have the longest proven shelf life in the industry and the best flavor, it is easy to see why people consider Mountain House the best survival food money can buy.

Don't forget to add #10 cans to your food storage solution!

Manufacture Date

The product manufacturing code appears on the back of Mountain House® pouches and on the bottom of Mountain House® cans. The date in the code represents the date on which the product was packaged. Between January of 2001 and June of 2012, we printed "Best if Used By" dates on the back of each pouch. In the fall of 2012, to better reflect the results of our ongoing sensory and nutrition testing, we began printing "MFG mmm dd yyyy" codes on the back of each pouch.


2006 and after:
EXAMPLE: 09349 1324

09 = Year 2009
349 = Julian Date (example = 349th day of the year = December 15)
1324 = 24-hour / Military time

1989 - 2006:
EXAMPLE: 99028 CIA

99 = Year
028 = Julian Date (example = 28th day of the year = January 28)
CIA = Production Operator's Initials

Prior to 1989:
EXAMPLE: T20394D

T = Year (example "T" = 1987; see below*)
203 = Julian Date (example = 203rd day of the year = July 22)
94D = Internal tracking system code number

*The year code can be understood as follows:

A 1970 F 1975 K 1980 R 1985
B 1971 G 1976 L 1981 S 1986
C 1972 H 1977 M 1982 T 1987
D 1973 I 1978 N 1983 U 1988
E 1974 J 1979 P 1984

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