The Vermont Foodbank and Vermont National Guard will distribute food to those in need at five different areas of Vermont beginning on Wednesday. These points of distribution will help ease demand on food shelves around that state that have seen a surge in demand. Those in need of food can go to these locations on the appointed days and receive a seven-day supply of Meals Ready-to-Eat MRE for each member of their household. This is straining the capacity of the charitable food system and these points of distribution will help get additional meals to people while taking some pressure off our network of food shelves and meal sites. Those who are ill, have been advised to quarantine, or lack transportation can send a friend or relative to pick up meals for them. Those picking up food can come to the location nearest to them, open their trunk, and the appropriate amount of food will be loaded by members of the Guard.
Designed for military use, MREs provide rations in a sealed package that’s lighter than a can and can survive extreme drops and other impacts. As an army ration, that means it can last for quite a while in the right conditions. All these features make for an attractive product for storage outside the army. MREs can have a decent shelf life, and their ready to eat state makes them great for use while camping, hunting, or emergency situations where power and access to food become limited.
Do MREs have an expiration date? How do I read product.
Ah yes, the MRE. Also known as a Meal Ready-to-Eat, MREs are nothing new to service members, whether it be marines, soldiers, sailors, or even airmen. These meals ready to eat often have a reputation for being dreaded — but believe it or not, many veterans miss them and often look for them as civilians. However, these instant meals have been around for nearly a century, dating all the way back to the C-Ration in World War II, which also contained approximately 3 cans of meat, a vegetable item, crackers, sugar, coffee, and supplied much needed vitamins and minerals to soldiers.
MREs are food, much of which has been canned and heavily processed, some even freeze dried. They are made with the intention of maintaining an extremely long shelf life so they can be used as combat rations for the military. Every MRE is packed into a self-contained pouch with a variety of items.
Please note that the “inspection date” is not to be confused with expiration date. Below Data not available. Keep some in the car, the boat, the RV – or anywhere you may need a quick meal!! The Menus.
Commercial MREs. It is true that we make ALL the food heaters (over Billion to date) in every type of MRE, so the food heating method is similar. The key.
Whether you have a whole case of MREs or just a single MRE, there are a number of ways to figure out how old they are. A typical case will have both a packed date and an inspection date. The inspection date on MREs is usually three years after the packed date. Everything from entrees, crackers, peanut butter, accessory packs, etc. If you can open up your MRE, you should be able to figure out how old each piece is. Without actually opening the MRE bag and looking at the MRE date codes stamped on the components, there are a few tricks you use.
In , they switched over to the tan-colored bags. See this page for a complete list of MRE menus. Similarly, if you have a brown 6 Chicken Ala King, you can tell from the menu list that the last time that MRE was used was — so yours could be from or earlier. The same sort of theory works for the newer tan MREs. Look at which menu the MRE is and then look at the menu listing to see if you can nail down a closer date. For example, a tan 4 Ham Slice would have had to come from because it was discontinued in Another example would be a 22 Chicken and Salsa — that menu only appeared in — after that, Chicken and Salsa move to menu 7.
Written by Patrick McCarthy on October 31, Well, no, actually. When stored in ideal degree conditions, most modern military-grade MREs have a claimed shelf life of approximately 60 months 5 years.
Buy MRE Inspection Date Case, 24 Meals with Inspection Date, Pack Date. Military Surplus Meal Ready to Eat. (A and B Bundle) on.
The Meal, Ready-to-Eat — commonly known as the MRE — is a self-contained, individual field ration in lightweight packaging bought by the United States Department of Defense for its service members for use in combat or other field conditions where organized food facilities are not available. While MREs should be kept cool, they do not need to be refrigerated. MREs have also been distributed to civilians during natural disasters. The first U. Later, self-contained kits were issued as a whole ration and contained canned meat, bread, coffee, sugar and salt.
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. At the beginning of World War II , a number of new field rations were introduced, including the Mountain ration and the Jungle ration. However, cost-cutting measures by Quartermaster Command officials during the latter part of World War II and the Korean War again saw the predominance of heavy canned C rations issued to troops, regardless of operating environment or mission.
After repeated experiences with providing prepared rations to soldiers dating from before World War II, Pentagon officials ultimately realized that simply providing a nutritionally balanced meal in the field was not adequate. Service members in various geographic regions and combat situations often required different subsets of ingredients for food to be considered palatable over long periods.
Since about , MRE cases have also included something called a TTI time and temperature indicator on the outside of the box to assist inspectors in determining if MREs are still good. There are two parts to the TTI – an outer dark circle and an inner light circle. As long as the inner circle is still lighter than the outside circle, the MREs are supposed to be good. Skip to main content.
The MRE Dinner Date. Courtesy of Northstar. If you have never eaten an MRE then this might not strike you as very funny, but have had lived on these things.
Those options tend to be a little cheaper, lighter, more calorie dense and compact, last longer, have more meal variety, etc. More : Review of small freeze-dried food buckets. For example, freeze-dried food will often last for years compared to five for an MRE — and they typically weigh and cost less per calorie, too. Many of the MREs you find for sale on sites like eBay were originally made for the military. A major problem with those listings is that you have no idea what condition the product is in or how much shelf life is remaining.
Many vendors lie. Since you want to have confidence in your food supplies, we recommend only buying the civilian versions offered by the same companies that make the official MREs for the US Military. Some of those vendors will also sell individual components in bulk eg. Storage tips How to figure out when it was made What happens if you are in a terrible situation and come across an old case? Meals Ready to Eat are not meant for the long term How do they taste? Special types Be prepared. Want more great content and giveaways?
We are living in a time of uncertainties where an emergency can happen abruptly. Finding survival food during an emergency or even accessing the store can be an arduous task, and this is why you should always have ready to eat food within easy reach. Depending on the type of emergency, power could be disrupted for many hours and sometimes days.
How old are your MREs? Enter the Julian Date Code to get your MRE’s date of manufacture.
Thanks for pointing that out; I have removed the original comment with the video link that no longer exists. I’m finding that my meals dated August taste ok; but the heater element is not efficient. The bottom of the meal gets warm, at best. But the top end remains unheated, even when the meal is lying flat. I’ve tossed several meals away while experimenting with the enclosed heater, and have to heat, unbagged and in a separate container. Thanks for that comment, which raises an interesting point that I hadn’t considered.
The food is fine but what about the heater? If the commenter sees this reply, I’m curious to know if you have observed more efficient results with heaters in new MREs. In my own experience, the heaters have been better than twirling a stick trying to make a spark, but not as good as a microwave oven, and I haven’t really taken note of how variable they were or if I noticed better results with new heaters than with old ones.
About the heaters no, I haven’t bought any MREs recently. I bought these meals a while ago. After a bit more research today, which I should have done before, I learn that the square heaters in military-issue MREs only last 5 years. A lesson learned.