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Objectivist
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513 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recent acquired 10 cases of MRE's doing some yard sale prep. http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=161663 They are leftovers from Hurricane Ivan and for anyone interested the procedure for getting MRE's, water and Ice was as follows. Drive to the drop off point. Wait patiently in line and when you get up to the first pick up point tell them how many are in your family. In our case a family of four got 2 cases of water, 2 cases of MRE's and 3 bags of ice.


Product code 4027 indicates they were made Jan 27, 2004 and given an average temperature of 80 degrees they should have expired in 2007. see http://www.mreinfo.com/ for further reference. These MRE's were stored in a garage that was not climate controlled. Temperature ranges from 15 degrees in the winter and 105 degrees in the summer and the full range of humidity. Suffice to say conditions were not optimal for long term storage. But at $1 a case I had to take a chance.
yesterday I popped open a case and took the first in line. Menu #11 Pasta w/ Vegetables.


Packaging was in good condition and was not bulging or leaking. Pasta and vegetables looked good and the vegetables had some crunch.
Apple sauce was "dark", but I am unsure if it was from design or degraded. It tasted pretty good and smelled fine.


Crackers were still crisp and hadn't suffered from breakage.


peanut butter was perfect in taste and appearance.


Pineapple pound cake was moist and delicious.


It came with a pack of "charms' a hard candy, that suffered from some partial melting.


The accessory kit was fine and even the matches still worked.
needless to say the big test was to eat the entire MRE and see if I suffered any "setbacks". 24 hours later not a bit of a problem. Just my humble opinion but I am rather doubtful of expiration dates on MRE's at this current juncture. I suspect they are included as a psychological ploy to ensure more sales since the product is "expired". I am going to continue to buy expired cases of MRE's when I run across them. I plan on treating them like canned goods, if they are in good shape and not leaking or bulging they should be good to go.
At $1 a case what do I have to lose?
 

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Lonesome Road
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1,015 Posts
I agree with you on the dates. When I was in I don't think I ever even looked at a date. The funny thing is what you mentioned about the apple sauce being brown. If I got a meal with apple sauce in it that was the tell tale sign if the MRE was an "old one" or not. If it was brown it was old or the case was sitting out for a long time. The apple sauce and the fruit are really the only items in any of the meals I found could go bad. The apple sauce should be the kind of tan color you see in store bought apple sauce, but it may still be good if it is brown, good as in taste wise.
 

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Inglourious Basterd
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2,966 Posts
Thanks for the review, I suffer from expiration date phobia.
I always hear people talk about how canned goods and MREs last well beyond ex. dates. But some MRE entrees taste pretty nasty even when they're fresh.

I have 2 cases of MREs nearing their 3 year packaged date,and I've been thinking about testing one.

The worst part is, you have no idea of the temperate conditions that they were stored in before you attain them.
 

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Registered
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129 Posts
That pasta dish looked quite tasty. I make a similar dish, but not as an MRE. Did the applesauce have cinnamon in it, by any chance? Applesauce with sweet spices added is usually darker than plain applesauce.
 

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Idaho Prepper
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227 Posts
I've ate MRE's in the past that were 10-15 years old.

If the pouches are bulged, that item is bad....

Like another poster said, the only item I have ever personally seen that was bad was the fruit or candy.
 

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Objectivist
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513 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I agree with you on the dates. When I was in I don't think I ever even looked at a date. The funny thing is what you mentioned about the apple sauce being brown. If I got a meal with apple sauce in it that was the tell tale sign if the MRE was an "old one" or not. If it was brown it was old or the case was sitting out for a long time. The apple sauce and the fruit are really the only items in any of the meals I found could go bad. The apple sauce should be the kind of tan color you see in store bought apple sauce, but it may still be good if it is brown, good as in taste wise.
I still remember my first MRE I had in the Army. Freeze dried hamburger patty with beans and freeze dried fruit. I think there was some crackers and a random spreadable. not sure which. while is wasn't great by any stretch of the imagination it was edible. As far as i am concerned the one I recently ate was miles better than the first one. I think some pepper flakes or some rooster sauce would have made the entree PDG!!
 

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Objectivist
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513 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the review, I suffer from expiration date phobia.
I always here people talk about how canned goods and MREs last well beyond ex. dates. But some MRE entrees taste pretty nasty even when they're fresh.

I have 2 cases of MREs nearing their 3 year packaged date,and I've been thinking about testing one.

The worst part is, you have no idea of the temperate conditions that they were stored in before you attain them.
If it ain't bulging or dripping it should be ok. zip the package open and put it on a plate. take a good look and make sure it smells unspoiled. I think the hungrier you are, the better they taste.
 

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Objectivist
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513 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
That pasta dish looked quite tasty. I make a similar dish, but not as an MRE. Did the applesauce have cinnamon in it, by any chance? Applesauce with sweet spices added is usually darker than plain applesauce.
it was spiced. I think it may have been nutmeg and or allspice. I suspect the sesoning info is on the net somewhere.
 

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Objectivist
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513 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I've ate MRE's in the past that were 10-15 years old.

If the pouches are bulged, that item is bad....

Like another poster said, the only item I have ever personally seen that was bad was the fruit or candy.
I sampled some canned ham slices out of a C-ration, they tasted fine and didn't look out of the ordinary. I suspect they were 30-60 years old.
 

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Inglorious Deplorable
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21,136 Posts
MRE's can also be stored frozen at the storage facility -- so your 10-15 yeard could have spent all of that time sub-zero.

You may want to kneed the jalapeno cheese before opening as old cheese will seperate.

If the MRE heaters are weak, add salt.

The commercial candy is the only thing I've seen dates on (inside the MRE).

If unsure, feed a sample MRE to a pig. If the pig survives, the rest of the box should be OK. If the pig dies, eat the pig.
 

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Objectivist
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513 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
MRE's can also be stored frozen at the storage facility -- so your 10-15 yeard could have spent all of that time sub-zero.

You may want to kneed the jalapeno cheese before opening as old cheese will seperate.

If the MRE heaters are weak, add salt.

The commercial candy is the only thing I've seen dates on (inside the MRE).

If unsure, feed a sample MRE to a pig. If the pig survives, the rest of the box should be OK. If the pig dies, eat the pig.
these MRE's were leftovers from hurricane Ivan. They have been in a garage since 2004. thanks for the tips on the cheese and heaters. The peanut butter was just opened and pressed on the plate and it hadn't degraded in my opinion.
 

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Above all, endure
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146 Posts
My wife is a US Army veterinarian technician, cross-trained in food inspection (the food inspectors and vets are in mixed units in the Army). The main meals in MREs will usually last years beyond the expiration date. Commonly the extra items (candy, cheese spreads, BBQ sauce, and sometimes peanut butter) go bad much sooner.
 

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Objectivist
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513 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
My wife is a US Army veterinarian technician, cross-trained in food inspection (the food inspectors and vets are in mixed units in the Army). The main meals in MREs will usually last years beyond the expiration date. Commonly the extra items (candy, cheese spreads, BBQ sauce, and sometimes peanut butter) go bad much sooner.
I saw a bowl full of the tiny tabasco sauce bottles at a yardsale. The contents were all black or dark brown. Thanks for the inside info.
 

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Potential Roux-Ga-Roux
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1,426 Posts
I just want to know where to get the MREs that come with the pink Fiesta ware plates? :) Those would fit right in with my set!:thumb:
 

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I am Jody
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2,203 Posts
The hot sauce bottle...if it is dry with a orange ring the MRE is bad! I have only run into one bad MRE and I think it was self inflicted. I keep MREs in my bag that I use for travel outside of city limits a GHB if you will and I had left said bag in my Jeep for a couple of months last summer. Typically, I leave the cases of MRE's in my basement storage room around 60 degrees year round.

My dad was USAF when I was a kid, he would go on exercises and bring back C-rations dated 60's to the early 70's during the late 80's I would use the C-rats for hiking and camping and they were good.
 

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Above all, endure
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146 Posts
My old platoon kept our MREs in a connex in central Texas (along with our IV bags, which is even worse to heat stress) -- just be vigilant and inspect everything and ya should be good.

Brewbrother: maybe it was the chipotle flavor lol!
 
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