Discussion in 'The RoundTable' started by Bud Lee, Aug 9, 2012.
So i'm considering eating a MRE left over from Gustav...still good right?
they have expiration dates I think. something like 7 yrs
at 4 years you are prolly ok
The first thing I noticed about this warning is that they say MREs must be delivered prior to a "clearly marked expiration or 'use by' date". Fortunately, U.S. military MREs only have "packed" and "inspection" dates - so yes, even a 10 year old case of MREs is guaranteed to be delivered before the clearly marked expiration date. Canadian IMPs, on the other hand, are a different case - they actually have an "expires" date on the case.
The second thing I noticed was the statement that MREs have a 3 year shelf life. But on the DSCP's own web site, it says "The shelf life of the MRE is three (3) years at 80 degrees F. However, the shelf life can be extended through the use of cold storage facilities prior to distribution." So the actual useable shelf life is variable - everywhere from 1 month to 10+ years depending on how they were stored. Please see MRE Longevity for more information.
Practical Life of MREs
Practically, the darn things last a long, long, time. As long as the individual MRE components aren't damaged, punctured, (or SWELLING!!), they should still be edible. Some people (on usenet) say that an MRE may lose its flavor or turn an unappetizing color but will still retain all the nutritional value. But other people will say the nutritional value decays over time. Take your pick of opinions. If you want to really be safe, don't base your nutritional health on 10-year old MREs. But for occasional eating/camping/etc you're probably ok.
But how do they really taste? I've eaten everything from one month old MREs to 11 year old MREs. While I haven't been brave enough to try the 10 year old Omlette with Ham, I have tried the 11 year old corned beef hash and the 11 year old ham slice/potatoes au gratin. They were both perfectly yummy (if you like those kinds of foods). The ham slice was nice and tender - more like Hormel's Tender Chunk Ham. The corned beef hash was like any can of corned beef hash I've ever eaten. All the other MRE entrees I've tried - from 1994, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002 have all been good - no sort of off-flavors or bad tastes.
But other MRE components might not fare so well over time. Two examples spring to mind: the cheese spread and the applesauce. The DSCP (defense supply center philadelphia) did some time/temp testing on these two items and were kind enough to provide the following pictures:
Applesauce Cheese Spread
Which one is it?
Law practice slow?
It must be, I'm waiting to see which one he is contemplating throwing down the hatch. Believe me, it makes a HUGE difference.
I remember after Katrina, people started sharing/posting all sorts of recipes for turning mre's into better food.
Be aware that the MRE's that they handed out during both hurricanes was near the end of its shelf life when it was handed out. It may still be edible, but its probably beyond its expiration date.
Imitation pork rib FTW.
I ate a ton of MRE's in the wake of Katrina (my home was flooded and so were my cars). I must've gained 10 lbs in like 3 months. I had no idea that they were loaded down with all kinds of carbs and what not.
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