How to Read the Manufacture Dates on Mountain House Foods.

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:

99 = Year
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:

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


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.


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3 Responses to How to Read the Manufacture Dates on Mountain House Foods.

  1. Ron Bruce says:

    I picked up a case of Mountain House “Green Pepper & Onion Sauce With Beef” yesterday for $50. Code on the bottom does not seem to coincide with what I’m reading here. That code is:30-116-100 a space, then 89138/2710. Your thoughts and help are appreciated.

    • Noah says:

      Ron, that article is 3 years old, so you may want to email wherever you bought that case from and ask for clarification. They may have changed their coding system.

  2. CHARLES says:

    Hi I bought 24 packs of mountain house packages, the only numbers I found are… j22OR, GO97R, J29OR, these are scrambles eggs.The other numbers are for the freeze dried BEEF AND RICE….J284S, BUT THE ARE HARD & STIFF & BULKY, SEVERAL ARE LEAKING. HOW OLD ARE THESE ITEMS

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