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
9 years ago at 1:32 AM
RE: Your post "MREs. Meals-Ready-to-Eat are primarily used by the United States military, which uses a Julian calendar. Click on this link to see how MRE manufacture dates are figured." When I clicked on this, I was told this link no longer exists. ??????
3 years ago at 12:58 PM
Wheres the link?
9 years ago at 11:44 AM
In your #4 option to read your package date on the label on the can, you did not explain how to read this date 28912. Could you tell me what date this means? Thanks.
6 years ago at 11:04 AM
Hart brand made by Seneca foods corp.called got the run around. Hart Brand low sodium carrots.K3E1021B 11:11 3521 CRT SL Received cases of vegetables to make baskets for needy at church do not know safe to consume or expiration plz Ty
6 years ago at 6:22 PM
We bought a bucket from Costco, how do we tell the manufacturing date? Do we have to open the bucket or is there a code on the outside?
David Ernst
5 years ago at 12:44 PM
I recently recieved a shipment from you of the military meals Entree Variety Pack , Transaction ID 7772947529. I can not find how to decode the manufacture date as neither the box entrees nor the loose bags have four digit codes on them. The boxes have a stamped 5 digit number 15288 and the loose bags have 5195BY3N EST 15893 00 : 38 4 printed on them. Are these date codes and if so how can I decode them. They are not the 4 digit Julian codes that are mentioned in all the articles about identifying the date code. Regards!
5 years ago at 6:59 PM
How do you determine when food will expire using the Julian date
Karin Dudley
4 years ago at 1:45 PM
Excelerol reveiw
purple fascinator
4 years ago at 11:48 AM
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4 years ago at 7:19 AM
Hello. Thank you...Great article.
Winnifred Simiskey
4 years ago at 2:15 AM
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Darwin Kellison
4 years ago at 7:30 AM
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Kay Morath
4 years ago at 12:23 AM
I really like your article. It’s evident that you have a lot knowledge on this topic. Your points are well made and relatable. Thanks for writing engaging and interesting material.
Tory Mouw
4 years ago at 8:46 AM
Very good blog, thank you very much for your effort in writing this post.
Cleo Linza
3 years ago at 7:58 PM
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3 years ago at 10:00 AM
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Ara bauer
2 years ago at 4:47 PM
2 years ago at 8:15 AM
If stored properly, how long are products good for? I can’t seem to find a clear answer on this. Thank you.
carol hedges
2 years ago at 4:25 AM
do you really think i have time in the store as a busy mother and taking care of my elder mother to sit in a store to try to figure out if each item i have has exspired just put a simple date on items to make life easier for everyone ....ITS INSANE
2 years ago at 11:44 PM
How can you read date on can if it has Fd0739 lot 19080 instant nonfat milk by Saratoga farms. What does the FD stand for? Is this always the date or code or what? Please advise and I appreciate it
1 year ago at 9:34 PM
How i will figure out the expiration date of the food manufactured from Germany, it is written on here DP7P1559 at the bottom of it is 1541. I appreciate your help.
1 year ago at 9:36 AM
I found some juice that the last 3 number is 11722 ? Made year would bee 2011 but the 722 is what month
Don Joe
1 year ago at 9:52 AM
Mine have a label as follows: P-20846 CA 1161 CHK 19036 CN 14098 14:36 So what is the date of manufacture according to the pointless magical ambiguity of "Julian Dates" and providing can stamping equipment to the mentally handicapped? February 5th, 2019 or April 8th, 2014?