Defense & Law Enforcement Dept
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More information regarding MRE Shelf life


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Officially, how long MREs last depends on how long and at what temperatures they are stored. At a minimum, they should last 1 month when stored at 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius). Or they could last 5 years at 50 F (10 C)

More About MRE Shelf Life

1. The shelf life ratings shown in the chart on the front of this paper were determined by taste panels -panels of "average" people, mostly office personnel - at the Natick lab. Their opinions were combined to determine when a particular component, or in this case the entire MRE ration, was no longer acceptable.

2. The shelf life determinations were made solely on the basis of taste, as it was discovered that acceptable nutritional content and basic product safety would extend way beyond the point where taste degradation would occur. This means the MRE's would be safe and give a high degree of food value long after the timing suggested in the chart.

3. MRE pouches have been tested and redesigned where necessary according to standards much stricter than for commercial food. 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 a t G vibration); 7,920 individual pouch drops from 20 inches; and individual ouches being subject to a static load of 200 pounds for three minutes.

4. Freezing an MRE retort 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. These pouches are made to withstand 1,000 flexes, but repetitive freezing does increase the failure rate by a small fraction of a percent. Also if MRE food is frozen, then thawed out, it must be used the same as if you had thawed commercial food from your own freezer at home

5. Golden Season uses the very same cutting edge technology to prepare MREs and ration packs.


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