I've got a NOS fuel filter (GM) that's been sitting on a shelf for 17 years. Any reason why it wouldn't be usable? If not, is there a way to check?
I don't have a reference for you, but would suggest the filter should be just fine. As long as it's been stored in a dry location and is unused, there's nothing which is going to foul it.
An easy test for it would be to see if you can blow through it. As long as you can push air through it easily, it should be good. Another thing to check is to rattle it to insure the innards are intact. I don't think you'd want any filter guts getting pushed through to the engine. These aren't perfect tests, but should leave you with a warm and fuzzy.