What is a Happy Camper Gourmet Meal?
When you’re in the outdoors, it is often difficult to prepare a gourmet meal after the end of a long day outside. For years campers worldwide have battled with the lack of choices of hearty gourmet meals that are easy, ready to cook and eat straight out of the container, without the need for special cooking implements and instructions.
With Happy Camper Gourmet meals you now have the latest food storage technology mixed with the benefits of real food cooked to perfection, ready to eat.
For most people, refrigeration and frozen products are carefully chosen before heading off on the camping trip, usually to allow more room for cool beverages. With Happy Camper Gourmet meals no refrigeration or freezing is required and you’re not eating tasteless freeze-dried food.
Can I eat Happy Camper Gourmet Meals cold?
Happy Camper Gourmet meals are pre-cooked and are perfectly safe to eat cold. We suggest that heating them will allow the sauces to mix better with the meat and give a better enjoyment of the meal. However we understand that heating is not always an option. Any left over product must be treated as you would at home and be kept in the fridge.
Is Happy Camper Gourmet Meals like freeze dried or dehydrated food?
No, there is no relationship in way of the process or taste when it comes to freeze dried or dehydrated food. We do not reconstitute our food. The retort process simply pressure cooks the meat like your mum or grandmother may have done years ago. We have simply improved the packaging technology to make it easier for you to transport and enjoy. We use our own beef from our farm wherever we can too. This way we know the quality of food you consume is the best it can be. Check the Happy Camper V’s Freeze Dried page on this website for more info.
What are retorted products?
Canning as a method of food preservation was first pioneered in the 1790’s. It was discovered that the application of heat to food in sealed containers preserved the food from deterioration. Later Louis Pasteur explained that the elimination of microorganisms was the key to preventing food spoilage and illness.
The development of the pressure retort (canner) in the 1850’s allowed temperatures above 100OC to be achieved. These temperatures ensured virtually all microorganisms were destroyed to achieve commercial sterilization – complete elimination of harmful microorganisms. Cook temperatures up to 120OC are ideal to achieve this.
Whilst most foods were traditionally retorted in cans and then eventually glass jars, recent developments in polymer technology have seen the emergence of plastic pouches. These pouches are able to be sealed with virtually the same strength as cans/jars.
Consumer confidence in this type of product preservation is growing with public education as to the benefits of these techniques.
The emergence of these products has necessitated the need to change the terminology from “canned product” to “retort product”.
Does Happy Camper Gourmet retorted products achieve Commercial Sterility?
Happy Camper Gourmet retorted products are cooked using a process validated to achieve Commercial Sterility. This means that essentially all microorganisms are eliminated.
Why retort products?
Retort processing of foods in rigid, semi-rigid and flexible packaging is the most acceptable form of food preservation. It represents a unique combination of package, process and product technology. Product can be stored at room temperature for up eighteen months and easily reheated in a microwave to achieve the colour, texture, flavour and nutrient attributes of a freshly cooked meal.
What are the risks of retorted products?
The main risk for retorted products is the integrity of the seals. A container (can, glass jar or pouch) maintains its commercial sterility as long as the seals are maintained to prevent entry of microorganisms. Damaged containers with leaking seals must be discarded.
Why only a 2 year shelf life?
We have actually tested the meals out to 3 years and they are still “edible” but the only thing that really breaks down is the flavour but they actually don’t “Go Off”, much a like having a can of tuna in your cupboard for a long period of time, when you open the can it hasn’t gone off (unless the can was pierced) but the flavour may not be the same it was on the first day it was produced. Meat products normally have a limited shelf life. This is because the quality attributes of meat deteriorate over time. Most noticeable meat products tend to become rancid with oxidation of fats and oils, so in theory if the seal of the package is maintained, the sterility should be maintained however, flavour and colour tend to be effected over time.
My meal has passed its Best before Date – should I throw it out or is it safe to eat?
If your Product has a hole in it or has been opened then the answer is no, but if it is still sealed and has been in the cupboard and not in the direct sunlight, I would recommend there be no problems eating this product. We have tested these meals to 3 years with only minimum break down in flavour only.
When I received my meals there was less than 2 years on the best before sticker – I thought they had an 2 year shelf life!
The 2 year Shelf life starts from the day of the manufacture in the factory, therefore the products you have will most likely not have a best before date of exactly 18 months. The meals are cooked in large quantities at one time and are stored in the factory until they are ready to be sold. In saying this our products have been tested to 3 years and they have a BEST before date not a USED by date, therefore can be used after the date if needed – no need to throw your product in the bin after the date has passed.
How Are Happy Camper Gourmet Meals Able To Have An 2 year Shelf Life?
A special process that uses heat and pressure to cook food in a strong, sealed package. The product is fully cooked and requires NO refrigeration and NO freezing. Processing of foods in this way is the most acceptable form of food preservation. It represents a unique combination of package, process and product technology. The product can be stored at room temperature for at least eighteen months and easily reheated in a microwave to achieve the colour, texture, flavour and nutrient attributes of a freshly cooked meal.
What Ingredients are used in Happy Camper Gourmet Meals?
We support Australian Farmers and understand that good food is Aussie food. We pay more for our ingredients because we know you want the best, so we insist on No MSG, No Artificial Preservatives or Flavourings and next to No imported ingredients. Only the best quality ingredients are used to ensure that our products meet the highest standards.
Who Uses Happy Camper Gourmet Meals?
Happy Camper Gourmet meals are Perfect for:
General Camping . Caravan Adventurers . Motor Home Tourers . Motorbike Endurance Riders . Country Pubs . Overnight Boating . Horse Riders . Fishermen . Cross Country Snow Skiers . Bush Walkers/Hikers . Military . Work Site Camps . School Camps . Small Food Service Outlets . Fundraisers
Or A quick meal at home!! 🙂
Are Happy Camper Gourmet Meals Halal Certified?
No, Happy Camper Gourmet Meals are not Halal Certified.
What is the packet size for the Happy Camper Gourmet Meals ?
Our meals pack sizes are 19.5cm x 17.5cm
How Do I Prepare a Happy Camper Gourmet Meal?
Take your Happy Camper Gourmet meal from the cupboard and simply heat in a pot of water on the campfire or stove,in the microwave or in the oven then you can eat from the bag or serve up on a plate of rice, spaghetti, mashed potato, or vegetables to make the meal even larger.
At what temperature should I store my Happy Camper Gourmet Meals?
Ideally our product should be store at consistent temperatures away from direct sunlight. Extremes in temperature and light may contribute to a detrimental effect on flavour and texture of the product.Our meals have been left in Extreme high temperatures for long periods before, and have been tested afterwards and there was minimal breakdown of flavour, but they did not go off!. If you have to leave your meals in a hot car/4wd while traveling etc., this should be fine as long as they are not in direct sunlight and are in a shaded area of the vehicle.
Can I freeze or refrigerate my Happy Camper Gourmet Meals?
Freezing or refrigerating a retorted product will not improve shelf life. In fact freezing may contribute to the plastic pouch becoming brittle and increasing the chances of product puncturing the bag to compromise the intact sealed pouch. Freezing of retorted product is discouraged.
Are Happy Camper Gourmet Meals GLUTEN Free?
All of our meals are gluten free EXCEPT the Lamb & Mushroom Gnocchi & the Damper premixes. Our factory is certified Gluten Free
Why does it say on the packet “Made from Local & Imported Ingredients” – when I thought Happy Camper Gourmet was “Australian Made” ?
Our product is all made in Australia and ALL the meat is grown in Australia. The items that are imported are sometimes just small ingredients that are not available in Australia at the time our meals are produced or are not produced in Australia at all. For example the Pink Peppercorns in the Veal Shank sauce, these are not always available in Australia but we use Australian pink peppercorns where we can and when available. Also some of the spices may have to be imported as they are not grown in Australia at all or are not available at the time.
> The food law stipulates that we have to put the wording “Made from Local & Imported ingredients” at all times even if a particular batch of meals may have all Aussie ingredients but the next batch may have 1 spice that is imported, so the wording must always reflect the general ingredients used overall. This law is quite annoying when you are trying to promote an Australian made product. Even with this wording we are able to use the official Australian made logo in the triangle if we wanted to (but that privilege would cost extra LOL)
> But I can assure you that all the vegetables and meat (the main ingredients) are ALL Australian grown – including from our own farm. We try our best to use all Aussie ingredients where possible as we are strong believers of supporting the Australian farmer!!.
Where can I buy Happy Camper Gourmet Meals?
You can buy Happy Camper Gourmet from your local stockist- see Stockists in the tabs above, or you can buy your meals directly from us on our online shop. If you prefer not to purchase online you can call us on 1300 76 88 44 and order over the phone and pay by credit card. If you dont have a stockist near you please visit your local preferred camping store and ask them to get it in for you – because the more people ask for it the more stockists we will have.
How much are Happy Camper Gourmet Meals?
What methods of payment can I use to buy Happy Camper Gourmet online?
From the Online Shop You can purchase Happy Camper Gourmet by the following methods:
1.Secure credit card payment via Paypal – you dont need to have a Paypal account to pay by credit card using the Paypal system – just click on the link “Dont have a Paypal account click here” when directed to the Paypal page and it will allow you to enter your Credit card details securely.
2. Secure payment using your own Paypal account – type on your Paypal account sign in details when redirected to the Paypal Page.
There is not a stockist near by, but I don’t want to purchase on the internet, Can I call you to place an order?
Yes, You can call us at the cost of a local call on 1300 76 88 44 and we will be happy to take your order over the phone.
How much is it for delivery?
Please visit the Delivery Info Tab for all your delivery enquiries.
I just signed up to the newsletter on the home page, so why can’t I sign into the online shop?
These two sign ups are different. The Sign up on the home page on the right panel is for emails & newsletters only, but the sign up in the online shop is for personal access to the online shop – If you have not purchased from us before you do not need to sign in to purchase.