While working on the blog post on test old long-term storage foods, I found information on how to date Mountain House products. This information comes directly from the Mountain House website. If you just follow the instruction shown below you will be able to date any mountain House products.
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
|028 =||Julian Date (example = 28th day of the year = January 28)|
|CIA =||Production Operator’s Initials|
Prior to 1989:
|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:
Mountain House has been around so long that there are many older cans in existence. I have opened and eaten number 10 cans from as early as 1973. As of now I have never found a number 10 can of Mountain House that was unfit to eat.