Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What is the shelf life of mushrooms?

Generally, mushrooms have about a 9-10 day shelf life from the date of packaging. There are many elements that affect the shelf life of mushrooms including, but not limited to, temperature, moisture and time. Mushrooms should be kept dry and held at a temperature range of 34° - 40° F.

The way the mushrooms are handled, from harvesting at our facility to your dining table, plays a critical role on the shelf life of the product. To give you an idea of this handling process please examine the following steps.
  1. Mushrooms are harvested, trimmed, sorted and placed in plastic baskets for transport to the cooling area.
  2. Mushrooms are then transported to the product cooler and placed in a cooling tunnel to bring the product temperature down to the 34° - 40° F temperature range as quickly as possible.
  3. The product is packaged in a cool, environment to help maintain the desired product temperature.
  4. The packaged product is then palletized, according to customer needs, and stored in the product cooler prior to loading.
  5. The pallets are the loaded on refrigerated trailers for shipment at the appropriate time.
  6. The product is then shipped directly to our customers.
  7. The mushrooms are unloaded into our customers warehouse and stored in a their product cooler prior to shipment.
  8. The product is shipped from the warehouse to individual retail or food service locations in a refrigerated truck/trailer.
  9. The retail/food service customers use refrigerated or cooled display case until the end user purchases or utilizes the product in the restaurant.
  10. Retail purchased product should be transported and cooled as soon as possible in the supplied container or a paper (lunch type) bag that can breath.
  11. Never store mushrooms in closed plastic bags.

This is a fairly detailed description of how our product is handled. It is important to note that the exposure time to less than ideal conditions between each step, also plays a role in the ultimate shelf life and final quality of the mushrooms.

A measure that Mountainview Mushrooms uses to help manage the shelf life of the product is found in the labeling of our products. On our over-wrap product, we mark the day the product was packaged. You can find this date stamped on the label. It is in Julian Date format. The Julian Date is the number of days since January 1 in the current year. For example, the Julian Date for September 25 is 268. You can find the Julian Date on most calenders in a format like 268/97. Click the following link to download a handy wallet card, which lists the dates associated with the corresponding Julian Date.

Julian Date Card
Click here to request a laminated Julian Date Card

Tips to Longer Lasting Mushrooms

  1. When purchasing, examine the packaged date to determine the age of the product. (The product may be fine even though it's older provided it has be handled properly) the date is only one criteria.
  2. After the purchase keep the product as cool as possible during transportation.
  3. Keep the mushrooms dry during storage. Do not wash the product until just before use.

As you well know, mushrooms are extremely perishable and by following these simple steps you will be sure to enjoy a higher quality product for a longer period of time.


Anonymous said...

I have kept mushrooms for 8,9,and 10days and they did not hold up. Where did you get your facts about 9 to 10 day shelf life?
Thank You

Mountainview Mushrooms said...

At Mountainview Mushrooms, we are conducting shelf life testing each pack day. A sample is taken, in our packaging, and placed in the product cooler. The samples are observed daily for quality and the shelf life is calculated. The results of this test are how we derive the 9 to 10 day shelf life.

Keep in mind that temperature and moisture have a great affect on the shelf life, as mentioned in the post above. Be sure NOT to wash the mushrooms until just before use.

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