Preparedness blog

How to Figure Out Your Food Storage Manufacture Date

By Jeff and Amy Davis
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We often get questions about the manufacture dates printed on our #10 cans.

Cans of food.
Previously, The Ready Store placed a Julian calendar date on our #10 cans, however, we have recently simplified the everything by printing new, easy-to-read manufacturer dates!

figure out food storage manufacture date

Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MRE) are primarily used by the United States military, which uses a Julian calendar. Find out more about how MRE manufacture dates are figured.

Expiration Dates
Many times, people will ask us “Why don’t you just put an expiration date on the can?” The reason is because the expiration date depends on your storage environment. Ideally, you would store the food in an environment with temperatures between 60-75 °F.

Manufacture Dates
The Ready Store is in the process of changing the way we label our cans. While we previously listed a Julian Calendar date, we will now be labeling our #10 cans with easy-to-read dates!

MREs, which are manufactured by the same companies who provides MREs to the military, will continue to use the Julian Calendar system and we have no ability to influence a change. You can learn more about decoding the MRE manufacture dates here.

figure out food storage manufacture date
figure out food storage manufacture date
figure out food storage manufacture date
figure out food storage manufacture date
figure out food storage manufacture date

Julian Calendar
We realize that many people will have food they purchased in their food storage pantry with the julian date stamps. So, we thought it would be important to highlight how you can figure out the numbers date based on the Julian Calendar.

The Julian Calendar has been around for centuries. In our day, it is widely used on a wide variety of manufactured products as a standard means of dating. It is also used by parts of the military and as an astrological measurement. The Julian Calendar is basically a continuous count of days starting January 1, 4713 BC.

The Ready Store used a modified version of the Julian Calendar. Let me show you some examples:

So in the first example, you can see that the Julian date is 10229. This means that the product was manufactured in 2010 on the 229th day of the year.

In the second example, the Julian date is 11067. This option includes a bath reference number and a product code. The Julian code will show that 11067 was manufactured on March 8, 2011.

The third example highlights the Julian date a little more. It puts a dash between the batch reference number and the Julian code. 11143 would translate to May 23, 2011.

The last example is what shows on the label of some Saratoga Farms cans. It shows the Julian date in red. That day would translate to the 289th day of 2012 - or October 15, 2012.

Print Out
We’ve also prepared a printable sheet that you can keep with your food storage documents in order to reference the dates in case of an emergency or power outage. Here is also a good overview of a comprehensive food storage list.

Click here to view the PDF.

9 years ago