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About Mountain House Foods

About Mountain House Foods

Oregon Freeze Dry has a long history in the freeze dried food market. Incorporated in 1963, Oregon Freeze dried was producing food for General Foods cereal. Later, the Department of Defense requested new freeze dried military rations that tasted better, weighed less and were easy to prepare.  The old canned rations were going the way of the dodo bird, and the new freeze dried rations were in. In the early 1970's, the Mountain House line of freeze dried foods for outdoor recreational use swiftly became the industry leader. The company rapidly grew as as a private label packager for freeze dried food products with a vastly expanded freeze dried food line


Today, Oregon Freeze Dry is the world leader in freeze drying using advanced technological processes to produce the world's best tasting freeze dried food. Moutain House freeze dried food ingredients are found in many of the products of some of America's largest food companies. The private label lines include such products as lunch and dinner entrees for the Nutri/System weight-loss program and the Gerber Graduate Mini's line among several others. Oregon Freeze Dried is a major supplier to the US military, and the Mountain House brand continues to be the #1 favorite of backpackers and campers and emergency food storage preppers.

With three manufacturing plants, and over 32,000 square free of freeze drying capacity, Mountain House produces the highest volume of food in the US, meeting over 60% of the nations capacity for freeze dried food. Products are produced under USDA and FDA registrations.

Could you survive a Food Emergency?

Emergencies can take many forms, from storms to power outages, but every emergency has some common needs, with a readily available food supply being one of them. Keeping food on hand for emergencies protects you in the same way as insurance on your home or auto - for the unexpected. With Mountain House® freeze dried foods in your food reserve, you can be ready for just about any unexpected crisis. Imagine, for instance, what a lifesaver these foods can be when your electric power is knocked out for several days by a storm. With Mountain House products on hand and a one-burner stove or candle to heat water (cold water can be used in a pinch), you can still enjoy a hot, satisfying meal in less than 10 minutes. Having a private food reserve makes a lot of sense. Good sense for both financial and security reasons. Use pouches for limited short-term emergencies. Use cans for potential extended emergencies, or an emergency situation affecting a lot of people..

Simple Food Preparation!

Our freeze-dried foods are easy to prepare-just add hot water...wait 10 minutes...and eat! If a heat source is not available, room temperature or cold water can be used, too. Because no cooking is needed, these foods require much less water and fuel than most fresh, frozen or dehydrated foods (further conserving these two precious commodities.)

30 Year Shelf-Life!

Mountain House freeze-dried foods are packed in airtight NITROGEN PACKED #10 cans or pouches. Up to 98% of the residual oxygen has been removed. Our unique canning process uses both vacuum oxygen removal and nitrogen flushing. This is a time consuming and slightly more costly process...but well worth it. It is the same process mandated by the U.S. Military for whom we also can. Our foods will have the longest shelf life available...up to 30 years! We've been around for 40 years so we know first hand. Each of our cans is coated with a protective enamel inside and out for double protection, including the lid. The cans contents are protected until you are ready to open and use them. After opening, we recommend using the contents with 2 to 3 weeks for best results and taste; using the convenient resealable plastic lid between uses. Treat any leftover food as you would fresh food.

Taste the Difference!

Mountain House® freeze dried foods taste superior to competitive products because we actually start with fresh or frozen foods, then cook and prepare them, and finally freeze-dry them ourselves. All the goodness, flavor, and taste are locked in just if you had hand-made them yourself from scratch. In comparison, other food companies do not freeze-dry or cook their own foods. They blend the dry components of other companies and package them. Mountain House foods tastes as close to fresh, frozen, or better, as you can get. Backpackers, for example, consistently rate us #1 year after year as the best tasting foods and ease of preparation.

A revealing taste test using archived 30+ year old pouches was conducted in 2012 (pdf file).

Mountain House Archival Taste Test Chart

Pouches - 30 Year Shelf Life!

Based on storage studies conducted over many years, our shelf life is at least 30 years from date of manufacture, as long as pouch is stored unopened in a cool area. After 30 years, a change in flavor and appearance may be noticed. For best results, avoid prolonged storage at temperatures above 75° F (24° C).

Update 07/25/16: Mountain House has raised the shelf life for all entrees in cans and pouches to 30 years. See this press release. Also see: shelf life sheet.

Mountain House Vs. Wise Foods - Oxygen Testing Results

Mountain House has issued a press release regarding oxygen content in Wise Foods (pdf file).

The following statements are from Columbia Food Laboratories, who conducted third party testing on Wise Foods and Mountain House products:

"For proper long-term food storage, it's important to maintain oxygen exposure as low as possible," said Lee Goin, laboratory director at Columbia Food Laboratories. "Oxygen causes rancidity in foods containing unsaturated fats. Even slight rancidity can make a food undesirable. Oxygen causes nutritional value to be lost, especially vitamins A, C, D and E. Removal of oxygen will kill any insects, larvae and their eggs that may be present."

"Mountain House commissioned Columbia Food Laboratories to test 30 samples of dehydrated and freeze dried meals from Wise Company as well as 30 samples of comparable Mountain House freeze dried meals. The study found that average oxygen levels in Wise Company products were 18.25%, nearly the 21% level found in the atmosphere and 110 times higher than the average 0.16% oxygen found in Mountain House products. The most alarming part is that Wise Company products in this study were manufactured in April of 2012 and already exhibit near-atmospheric levels of oxygen, which would not provide a 25-year shelf life."

Mountain House vs. Wise Foods Comparison Chart

Information on 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. As of January 2001 we are now printing BEST IF USED BY dates on the back of each pouch.

1989 and after:


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: