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Product Shelf Life

Increased Shelf Life = Increased Value

We take pride in the shelf life of Mountain House freeze-dried foods. Our 44-year history of using top-quality ingredients, the highest processing standards, and premium packaging materials allows for a shelf life that is unmatched.

One unique advantage we have over our competitors is that our entrees (such as beef stew, rice pilaf or prepared eggs) are freshly cooked in our facilities, benefiting both taste and shelf life. We invite you to compare.

Our Mountain House inventory is consistently replenished in less than six months, thus ensuring a long shelf life remains when it leaves our doors.

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 storage tips and you will have emergency food when you need it.

Pouches--10 Year Shelf Life *Mountain House Pouch

Based on our ongoing sensory and nutrition testing of actual Mountain House products, in 2012 the shelf life was increased by an impressive 42%, from 7 years to 10 years! That’s right -- our shelf life is at least 10 years from the date of manufacture as long as the pouch is stored unopened in a cool area. After 10 years a change in flavor and appearance may be noticed. We have personally tasted pouches that were 30 years old and they still taste great. For best results, avoid prolonged storage at temperatures above 75° F (24° C).

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

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

Packed in airtight #10 cans, Mountain House freeze-dried foods have the longest shelf life available. We can confidently claim a 25-year shelf life, because our testing has shown the shelf life exceeds 25 years! These independent university studies were 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!

The interior and exterior of the cans are coated with protective enamel for double protection. Our canning process removes at least 98% of the residual oxygen, meeting 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.

Prepare for the worst with the best... Mountain House®

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 = 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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