The shelf life determinations were made solely on the basis of taste, as acceptable nutritional content and basic product safety extend far beyond the point where taste degradation would occur.
This means that MREs would be safe and give a high degree of food value long after the timing suggested in the chart, as you can see by watching the short video below.
MREs replaced the canned MCI, or Meal, Combat, Individual rations, in 1981, and is the intended successor to the lighter LRP ration developed by the United States Army for Special Forces and Ranger patrol units in Vietnam. During the First World War, canned meats were replaced with lightweight preserved meats (salted or dried) to save weight and allow more rations to be carried by soldiers carrying their supplies on foot.
MREs have also been distributed to civilians during natural disasters. At the beginning of World War II, a number of new field rations were introduced, including the Mountain ration and the Jungle ration.
They must be able to stand up to abuse tests such as obstacle course traversal in field clothing pockets; storage outdoors anywhere in the world; shipping under extremely rough circumstances (such as by truck over rocky terrain); 100% survival of parachute drops; 75% survival from free failure drops; severe repetitive vibration (1 hour at G vibration); 7,920 individual pouch drops from 20 inches; and individual pouches being subject to a static load of 200 pounds for three minutes.
Freezing an MRE pouch does not destroy the food inside, but repeated freezing increases the chance that the stretching and stressing of the pouch will cause a break on a layer of the laminated pouch.
The additional components within the complete meal are also normally produced within 30 days or less of their packaging date. Space Program, Military, Forest Service, and FEMA have used MREs since the 1970s.Some of the best information available on MRE shelf life is the storage life chart (see below) compiled by the U. Their opinions were combined to determine when the MRE ration was no longer acceptable.Therefore, even after the expiration of the MRE according to the shelf life chart, at least some of the items included within the Unit could still be worthy of use, keeping in mind some of the components may expire sooner than others.We are packaging MREs on a daily basis and always send brand new MREs with the entire shelf life available to you.