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Posted: 9/22/2001 6:00:02 PM EDT
I bought a couple cases of MREs back in 1987 or 88,think they are still good?I know it sounds like a dumb question but something in the back of my mind keeps me from throwing them away,but something else back there tells me not to chance it.
Link Posted: 9/22/2001 6:04:00 PM EDT
Think it was ten years. But I rememeber something about the self-life was factored for another five years. Does anyone has the right info?
Link Posted: 9/22/2001 6:07:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/22/2001 6:09:00 PM EDT
[url]http://www.loadup.com/custserv/mreshelf.htm[/url] About 8 years max. Not sure if they get rancid or just lose all their nutritional value.
Link Posted: 9/22/2001 6:09:59 PM EDT
I know what your question is but I don't have an answer for it. A better question though, would be, how does one tell the good MRE's from the bad MRE's if you go by taste alone regardless of years? You can also feed it to the neighbor's cat to test it out.
Link Posted: 9/22/2001 6:12:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/22/2001 6:12:17 PM EDT by Stealth]
[url]http://www17.addr.com/~mcs-i/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=mcs1&Category_Code=IM[/url] raf and blkbeard nailed it. It depends on temp.
Link Posted: 9/22/2001 6:21:21 PM EDT
As far as the temp,for the first 10 years they were kept fairly cool and in my basement.But since then,they have been in the back of my Garage.Approximately 70 to 80 degrees in the summer and from 15 to 60 degrees in the winter.How could you tell if they are good or bad?
Link Posted: 9/22/2001 6:24:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: The cooler and drier the better. IIRC, temp is the crucial factor. If you refrigerate the things, life is almost infinite. By contrast, stored in the hot trunk of a car, life may be a month or two.
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I agree. For the most part if you keep MRE's in the hall closet in your house you should be good for about 5-8yrs. 10yrs might be pushing it. However, I do eat pizza that's been sitting out a couple days on the coffee table and have not gotten sick from it. 1987-88, I would toss them puppies out. If you're hesitant in throwing them out, open a pack and see its contents.
Link Posted: 9/22/2001 6:30:48 PM EDT
take them to work for lunch, sit under your desk and eat them
Link Posted: 9/22/2001 6:30:48 PM EDT
I don't think they would be hazardous to eat. Since MREs is similar to canning, except they use those high-tech plastic laminates and it is soft. I called a big canning company a few years ago for Y2K, I don't remember who, and asked them what exactly does the expiration date mean, and she said that the product just won't taste as good if eatened within the expiration date. She further said that as long as the can isn't damaged, and it is intact; you shouldn't have any problem eating it beyond that date. A few people believe that it would be hazardous to eat, but according to this lady, nope. You just lose flavor. If you are going to pay money for expired MREs, well.... I personally probably wouldn't. The reason that is if you really needed in an big emergency.. There are places to scrip on money, but here I don't think it would be wise because your family's well-being is on the line. So shell out the few extra bucks for unexpired MREs.
Link Posted: 9/22/2001 6:34:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JOHNO: I bought a couple cases of MREs back in 1987 or 88,think they are still good?
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They weren't 'good' back in '88, so they sure as hell won't get 'good in '01. MRE's, unlike fine wine, do not become better with time - i.e. "you can't shine shit."
Link Posted: 9/22/2001 6:35:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/22/2001 6:41:29 PM EDT
You got a good point Jewbroni,by good,I really mean SAFE TO CONSUME.
Link Posted: 9/22/2001 6:55:42 PM EDT
I think this thread presupposes that the MREs were good to begin with. Several years ago I had a discussion on emergency food and MREs were suggested because no one in the conversation would eat them except in an emergency. You also have to take into consideration that the Pre-Ban MREs weren't quite as well thought out as the Post-Bans are. But then us civvies can't get the Post-Bans and have to use Pre-Ban or commercial equivalents. (Unless we know Guardsmen who take sack lunches and haul the MREs home...) Tachyon
Link Posted: 9/22/2001 7:00:11 PM EDT
Well, I KNOW that after 10 years they are still safe to eat. I remember back in '93, I got an MRE that had '81 stamped M&M's (that was the use by date). Ever eat 10 year oldM&M's?? not a red one in ANY of them. Jewbroni, there have been a few good ones: 1) Ham Slice!!! 2) Dehydrated pork patties (without water) 3) Chicken and rice 4) 3 fingers of death(hotdogs) w/potato sticks and Tabasco And the cocoa mix was the best!! Now they have jalepano cheese, and a couple of vegaterian meals. [smoke]
Link Posted: 9/22/2001 7:06:59 PM EDT
[size=2]... actually, they're not good.[size=2]
Link Posted: 9/23/2001 6:51:04 AM EDT
Canned food is still your best bet unless you are planning on doing a lot of walking and carrying food with you. There are a few basic meals in every case of MRE's. Compare that to the variety of stuff in the canned food aisle at the local grocery store. Fill your pantry, use the stuff and rotate your stock so you always have fresh stock on hand. The military got along just fine with canned food (c-rations) in combat for a very, very long time. You can certainly get along with canned emergency food at your home.
Link Posted: 9/23/2001 7:07:04 AM EDT
I really like MREs, just not good if your on a diet, oh and dont eat them for more than 5-6 days, will bind your ass up. BrenLover
Link Posted: 9/23/2001 7:32:35 AM EDT
I have eaten 10+ year old MRE's, and they are as "fresh" as the day they were packed. OK, maybe not that fresh, but still edible. Some parts like the M&M's, gum, jolly ranchers, coffee, etc are just good for the trash can, but sealed food inside *should* be ok. timh70, I [i]HAVE[/i] eaten 10 year old M&M's and I know exactly what you are talking about. Crunchy M&M's that don't melt ANYWHERE aren't exactly the best. And without those naked green ones it just wasn't the same. BTW, I have eaten 20+ year old C Rats also, and they are OK as long as they are sealed and not spoiled. A good way to tell this is to put some water on the can. When you puncture the can it should suck in the water, making a bit of a "slurp". If it blows out the water some nasty biological element has turned it into crap. It may look OK, but probably unsafe to eat. Likewise DO NOT eat any mre pouches that are all bloated out, the same thing has probably happened. Some of the more fluid-like meals may appear bloated but are not really, so look at what the meal is too. That's just a generic guideline but when in doubt don't eat it. Also JOHNO just because you [i]BOUGHT[/i] them in 87/88 doesn't necessarily mean they were made then. Look on the boxes or on the pouches themselves. There should be a 4 digit number like 5326 or 6139 as an example. That is when they were made, the first number is the year, and the last three are the day of the year. 6139 would have been made in 86 if brown wrapper or 96 if tan wrapper, and on the 139th day of the year. And yes, if they have been stored in an attic or a Louisiana basement the last 10 years, I'd say they are less likely to be good.
Link Posted: 9/23/2001 7:49:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/23/2001 7:49:39 AM EDT by WSmac]
Man! We've got some picky eaters here! Back when I was at Ft.Bragg all we had was C-rats', DEEEEElicious! I hated carrying the heavy things (until I opened up a can of nice juicy pears, etc.) I got my first MRE's as a firefighter in Alaska. I liked them too! Once on a fire we had an open challenge for someone to eat the main course from all twelve bags in 15 or 30 minutes (can't remember which). There was a bit of change riding on this. The first guy ate three and left to throw up. I got through seven of the last nine (after eating a whole MRE for dinner) and ran out of time. Got up the next morning to work the line with no problems.
Link Posted: 9/23/2001 8:11:21 AM EDT
Some people think MREs are never good. Thry're sure a favorite for hunters. A friend of mine hunted an Canada last year and swears they're the national dish of Canada. More MRE's were eaten by more hunters than anything else. The cautions about temperature are right on. Keep cool. Avoid freezing. The Army had a problem with roughly handled frozen MREs breaking holes in their packaging then rotting or becoming toxic. Which gets us back to the first line. Some people think they were designed toxic.
Link Posted: 9/23/2001 9:00:05 AM EDT
MMMMmmm Botulism...it only takes a taste.
Link Posted: 9/23/2001 9:16:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/23/2001 9:18:17 AM EDT by gardenWeasel]
Originally Posted By WSmac: I got through seven of the last nine (after eating a whole MRE for dinner) and ran out of time. Got up the next morning to work the line with no problems.
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!!! That's an overdose of ties that bind. I wonder what Freud would have thought about that.
Link Posted: 9/23/2001 9:40:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By M4Guy: Likewise DO NOT eat any mre pouches that are all bloated out, the same thing has probably happened
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[b]BOTULISM[/b] [i]It's What's For Dinner[/i] (your final dinner) [b]BOTULISM[/b] [i]The Other White Meat[/i] (...your carcass, that is)
Link Posted: 9/23/2001 10:19:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By lordtrader: 1987-88, I would toss them puppies out. If you're hesitant in throwing them out, open a pack and see its contents.
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Week before last I decided to rotate out of storage a case of '88 MRE's. As a joke, I was taking them to work! My co-workers had heard me talk about MRE's and they were all curious. I thought, WTH? The MRE's are [i]probably[/i] still edible!! Anyway, I packed them in the car on Monday nite, and on Tuesday, Sept 11th, I was walking in the building with my case when I heard . . . . I guess it was kinda apropos?!!
Link Posted: 9/23/2001 3:20:12 PM EDT
MREs were some of the first foods to be irradiated. More foods are now commercially available that have been zapped with some radiation, but the marketing folks are calling it "electronic pasteurization." In theory, it kills all bacteria in the food, and the food will last forever without spoiling. The example often given is that an irradiated gallon of milk in a sealed container would last forever without spoiling, even if it was not refrigerated. In theory at least. MREs that have been exposed to temperature extremes may not be fit to eat because the elements may have compromised the packaging, exposing the food inside to the elements. About ten years back, a soldier on a land nav course at PLDC on a Texas post ate an MRE main course pouch that he found in the bushes (apparently they weren't feeding PLDC students enough those days). His other team members thought he was an idiot and told him not to eat it. He very promptly died, thereby depriving the Army of an unqualified Sergeant and making me wonder if it might be a good idea to put more MREs out in the elements at Army leadership schools, particularly West Point, as a badly needed final exam in common sense.
Link Posted: 9/23/2001 5:04:23 PM EDT
The old 80's MREs were lousy. The newer tan ones are halfway decent. I recently ate an escalloped potatoes & ham from 1995. I'm still here. It was terrible though. It probably wasn't too good to begin with. The beef stew ain't bad though.
Link Posted: 9/23/2001 6:05:10 PM EDT
Ever hear of rotation? Agreed WSmac - got some awfully picky eaters here. I've had mre's that weren't my favorites, but never one that didn't taste good. Jeez - don't be so "soft". Tate
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