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Old 06-21-2011, 09:26   #2
JC Refuge
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: MN
Posts: 745

1. Food package definitions
Hello. We estimate a time period for our food packages based on calorie counts ... specifically, 2000 calories per day. (Beware sellers who try to pass off a "serving" as a meal.)

Yes, the 4-, 7-, and 18-month packages in our store (see: are one-person time periods. For two people, simply divide that period of time by two (or three people, divide by three).
2. Shelf life
Shelf life varies a bit. Mountain House freeze-dried cans are good for at least 25 years in reasonable storage conditions. Mountain House in mylar pouches is rated for a 7-year shelf life.

The 3600 calorie emergency food bars are good for at least five years.

All the other foods--dry and wet-pack are canned to last for 10 years or more. Fact is, few manufacturers go to the great expense required to legally verify maximum shelf life. It is to their advantage not to do so as they can sell more food after people think their foods not bought recently probably needs to be replaced.

Bottom line--we do have a case of the food bars in our 18-month package and that 5-year shelf would be the first item to go. That is because it is packaged in foil. Next would be the 7-year mylar pouches for Mountain House. 10 years is possibly the max you would want to store canned powdered milk and eggs. The wet pack meats should be good for 10-15 years. Dehydrated and freeze-dried foods go well beyond that. Honey--pretty much forever.

Note that good storage conditions for any type of packaged food means cool (room temp or cooler) and dry--out of sunlight, with no big cyclical temperature swings (freezing and thawing as an example). Any time a can or package's integrity is compromised, or there are bulges in the can, toss the food.
3. Storage requirements
Rough estimates for space required to store these packages:

Picture a standard pallet or skid with the food stacked on it ...

4-month package: knee high

7-month package: waist high

18 month package: two pallets, chest high
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