MRE rations and shelf life

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by dave, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. dave

    Active Member

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    Has anyone eaten an MRE that was beyond its expiration date? I have, several times and without episode. They are well packaged, no sunlight can penetrate the outer shell, and they contain enough salts and preservatives to prevent our bodies from composting at a standard rate.

    This however is a hard sell to the wife. I guess she has had the bad milk experience that we all have had. MRE's are expensive and I hate to just throw them out based on a date until I hear something solid that says I must.

    Ive heard of the old "C" rations from Korea being used in Vietnam in the 70's.
    That covers easily 20 years. Ive never had a C ration but would guess the vacuum seal technology was not around then.

    I would appreciate any thoughts and or stories to shed some light how you handle your turnaround on stored foods.
  2. Sun195

    Pugetropolis, WA
    Well-Known Member

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    We have the opposite situation in our house: my wife will eat stuff well beyond the expiration date (sometimes with disastrous results - including one trip to the emergency room); I throw it out the minute it's supposed to expire.

    In regard to MRE's and other survival foods, my philosophy is this: Food poisoning stinks. If I need to rely on these foods in a survival situation, the last thing I need to be dealing with is a case of food poisoning. So, I'm pretty religious about getting rid of stuff on the expiration date.

    This site has good MRE info, BTW:

    I have one case of MRE's in my emergency food supply. The remainder is SOS-style bars (5-yr life) and Mountain House #10 Cans (which are now listed as having a 25-yr life instead of 30-yr). I'm surprised at how quickly the 5-years passes - time flies when it comes to forgetting about stuff in your garage. :laugh:
  3. coctailer

    Portland, OR/Hastings, MI/Vancouver,WA
    I run with scissors.

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    Hairtrigger ate an MRE from the mid 90's a couple weeks ago..............Grossed me out, but he said it was excellent.

    I use mine after a couple years. I'll eat 2-3 cases per year. camping, hiking, boredom, etc and replace them with new production ones.
  4. swoop

    Milwaukie, Oregon
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    We ate those old Korean or WWII rats in the mid 60's. They were still ok except for the smokes that you could snap like a dry stick. :laugh:
  5. Siglvr

    Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    As I understand it, C rations, like most canned foods, can and do get eaten after their expiration date without much trouble. Usually it's a flavor change. BUT, watch the can closely, any marks on it may be potential pinholes. Smell it carefully and when iin doubt toss it out. Furthermore, eating expired acidic foods, like tomatoes: as I understand it, can lead to huge issues, while eating peaches packed in syrup is a no brainier -eat away. That said, I've eaten expired tomatoes and they taste fine. Modern canning techniques avoid some of the huge and deadly issues our ancestors faced.

    I have no experience with the MRE's, but have tried to eat expired Mountain House freeze dried food (packed in pouches). I didn't realize it was expired and took it, it was not eatable at all. Disgusting was a mild word for it. Like said above, time flys! Now I only buy the cans for survival reasons, as the length of time they will last is much longer than the pouches. I write the expiration date on the cans so that I can start munching before it wastes.
  6. torpedoman

    land of corrupt politicians
    Active Member

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    expiration date is a flavor issue in most cases.
  7. 503glock

    New Member

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    i rotate mine in a 1/3 every 36 months system so every yr i have to get some and use some.

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