Bad Experience with Mountain House Dinner?
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Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Bad Experience with Mountain House Dinner? on 03/17/2010 10:13:41 MDT Print View

The last trip, I brought along a pack of Mountain House Chicken Stew for 2. The package was intact and well within the expiration date (I checked both).

When it was time for dinner, I tore open the package and fished out the little "moisture absorbent" packet. There was a whiff of "turpentine"!

Once the water has boiled, I poured it into the package and waited about 10 minutes. When I opened the package, the turpentine smell was strong!!

The stuff looked "normal" and I took a little bite. It was actually revolting -- and I spit out everything quick. The ONLY taste was an over powering "chemical" taste that I had never tasted before! The after taste was just as horrible -- even with just an iddy biddy bite that was instantly spitted out!

Has anyone had similar experience with Mountain House?

Edited by ben2world on 03/17/2010 10:16:57 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Bad Experience with Mountain House Dinner? on 03/17/2010 10:21:16 MDT Print View

Whoa, Ben! Botulism is NO FUN! Be careful with packaged food that might seem spoiled!

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Bad Experience with Mountain House Dinner? on 03/17/2010 10:22:37 MDT Print View

Wow Ben, it is pretty good you did not eat it.

I eat a lot of freeze dried as I really like them but have never tried that flavor. Nothing from them or the other guys have ever had that smell though, so I am guessing it was bad. I would contact CS and talk to them about it. Do you still have the batch number/exp date?

When the first dehydrated backpacking meals were introduced (before MH) I had a bad experience that scared me away from them until MH had been out for a while and getting good reviews.

When you hike with us someday ask Dave about his experience with an early meal. Talk about a campfire horror story...

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Bad Experience with Mountain House Dinner? on 03/17/2010 10:24:00 MDT Print View

It wasn't spoiled in the normal sense -- no sour taste whatsoever. It was a strong, obvious smell of "turpentine" -- plus an overpowering, revolting chemical taste. I would call it turpentine taste, except I've never tasted turpentine before.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Bad Experience with Mountain House Dinner? on 03/17/2010 10:30:05 MDT Print View

Well, it looks like botulism is rare these days, but even then, why would you try something that smelled like turpentine (unless it was ouzo or had pine nuts in it)? Who knows what it was?!?!?

Edited by butuki on 03/17/2010 10:31:26 MDT.

Tim Harney
(baldknobber) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Mountain House on 03/17/2010 10:37:38 MDT Print View

Based on your explaination I would suspect that the oxygen absorber packet may have ruptured, or was defective. I would send Oregon Freeze Dry an email explaining your experience. You didn't by chance save the package did you?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
RE: Bad Experience with Mountain House Dinner? on 03/17/2010 10:40:52 MDT Print View

Ben,
What does Mountain House have to say?
I'm sure they are interested in your experience.

Thus far I've had only good experiences with Mountain House, or as good as can be expected from the Freeze Dried shelf.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Mountain House on 03/17/2010 10:44:50 MDT Print View

I examined the small package and it was intact.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Mountain House on 03/17/2010 10:52:02 MDT Print View

I just called MH. They have never heard of the above -- and unfortunately, although I packed the thing back home with me, I absent mindedly tossed all trash into the trash bin and it's been collected away.

MH offered to send me a replacement but I declined. It was just one bad package anyway.

Simon Wurster
(Einstein) - F

Locale: Big Apple
Re: Bad Experience with Mountain House Dinner? on 03/17/2010 10:54:46 MDT Print View

Did you save the packaging? Can you post the lot/serial #? I think I have one of those at home. Besides the freakishness of the incident, did losing that meal impact your trip?

I've used MH for years, never had a problem with quality (taste, on the other hand...). Even stuff close to expiration date (I think the same month/year) was OK. I really like their Pro-Paks for compactness.

I think there's a lesson or reminder for all of us to pack an extra meal (or food) as this is a justifiable "just-in-case" scenario.

Brian Johnson
(Sirclimbsalot) - F

Locale: Midwest
What, you don't like the new flavor? on 03/17/2010 10:56:13 MDT Print View

INGREDIENTS: Potatoes, Cooked Chicken, Linseed Oil, Carrots, Turpentine, Peas, Corn Oil, Formaldehyde, and contains 2% or less of Nonfat Dry Milk, Modified Corn Starch, Salt, Hydrolyzed Corn Soy Wheat Gluten Protein, Dehydrated Onions, Chicken Fat, Sugar, Paint thinner, Spices, Soybean Oil, Garlic Powder, and Spice Extract. Contains: Milk, Soy, Wheat.

It must be just you! The ingredients look fine!

Ok....seriously, I like mountain house and I've never had a bad experience. I'd contact them asap.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Bad Experience with Mountain House Dinner? on 03/17/2010 10:57:16 MDT Print View

Simon:

My last post above will answer some of your questions (we were probably typing away at the same time).

I did bring an extra MH -- so no impact on my trip. Like you, I've used their products for years now and have no complaints at all (except the taste could be improved further).

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: What, you don't like the new flavor? on 03/17/2010 10:58:02 MDT Print View

Brian - my hiking buddy smelled the same "turpentine" smell.

Brian Johnson
(Sirclimbsalot) - F

Locale: Midwest
Wow, so on 03/17/2010 11:06:41 MDT Print View

That makes 2 of you who do not like the latest gourmet craze - "Chicken ala Turpentine". Sounds like it could be a throwdown with Bobby Flay.

I have never had the "Chicken Stew" but I do like several MH meals....hopefully this is just an isolated incident. I can imagine how disappoionting it is to cook up a hot meal, and then "surprise".

I saw that they offered a replacement, and seems weird that they have never heard of something like this....and if so, I'm sure they would not mention it.

Edited by Sirclimbsalot on 03/17/2010 11:13:32 MDT.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Bad Experience with Mountain House Dinner? on 03/17/2010 11:45:07 MDT Print View

>> unless it was ouzo

would've taken Ben from Bad Experience to Purple Haze : )

========

Ben,

Definitely contamination at processing plant. This is a common risk we all face due to so much being processed by so little. Glad to hear you were not harmed.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Bad Experience with Mountain House Dinner? on 03/17/2010 13:06:01 MDT Print View

I don't find it weird.

Years ago I went to eat a MH meal on a trip. When I went to eat it, it reeked like chemicals for cleaning. It was BAD smelling. Ford and I went hungry that night. It was the reason I quit eating commercial meals for the most part and what changed me.

Only that one meal, but it was enough.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Bad Experience with Mountain House Dinner? on 03/17/2010 13:08:54 MDT Print View

Sarah:

Makes one wonder about those chemicals -- whatever they are! And this reminds me of the "benzene scare" that almost did Perrier in back in the '80's.

Erik Graf
(VanGo) - F

Locale: Southeast
Yuck on 03/17/2010 13:26:37 MDT Print View

Sorry to hear about that Ben. Good thing you had an alternate plan. Whenever I go out I plan my food and then there's the "+1" for when/if that exact thing happens.

I've used their stuff for years with no problems. Remember the cardboard "ring" you had to punch out from the white base and push it down the bag opening after you twisted it? LOL (or was that BPP?).

Anyhow, due to the cost and some of the "stuff" in those things I've been slowly working on making my own - got Sarah's book off Amazon and it has been a great help.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: The cardboard ring on 03/17/2010 13:47:58 MDT Print View

Oh wow, that is memory lane! The ring that would always pop off. Lol!

Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
There is worse on 03/17/2010 15:47:29 MDT Print View

It couldn't have tasted any worse than their Turkey Tetrazzini