How long does MRE last? A Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) is a self-contained complete meal in lightweight packaging
That is designed to withstand rough conditions and exposure to the elements.
The MRE is purchased by the United States Department of Defense for its service members for use in field conditions where other food is not readily available or during combats.
Inside each MRE bag is an entree and a variety of other food and drink items which has enough calories (up to 1,300 calorie count) to sustain a human being for a whole day.
MREs come packaged in cases, each case containing 12 MREs.
Currently, there are 24 different varieties or “menus” of MREs.
A designated case contains menus 1 to 12 and menus 13 to 24 are packaged in Case B.
So, how long do MRE meals last? unopened
MRE meals are famous for their long life span and will store for up to 5 years, if unbroken and stored at 75° F or less.
They don’t require any refrigeration for storage.
They are pre-made and ready to eat immediately,
All they need is to be stored in a dry area that’s not affected by extreme temperatures.
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How Long Does MRE Last After Expiration Date?
You typically won’t find an expiration date on an MRE,
But an average MRE stored at 80 degrees Fahrenheit will be safe to eat for up to three years.
If they’re stored at much cooler temperatures, then some or all of the contents could be good for up to five years
This is because the colder the temperature the longer they last.
How Long Does MRE Last After Opening?
If the seal is broken the MRE won’t last very long, its shelf life decreases significantly.
Once opened, MRE will only last for 3 days before it starts to spoil.
So, if you happen to have an open package of MREs, ensure to consume them within 3 days if not wrap them in a plastic bag and throw them away.
How Long Does MRE Peanut Butter Last?
According to survival experts and the military, as long as MRE peanut butter spreads are stored in dry conditions and at 80°F or 26.7°C or less,
They will remain good for 3 years.
The life span can be extended to 5 years or more if kept in cool conditions.
How Long Does MRE Cheese Spread Last?
Note that MRE Cheese Spread doesn’t have a specific expiration date.
If kept in cool conditions, above freezing, then some or all of the contents could be good for up to 5 years.
How Long Does The Sopakco MRE Last?
Sopakco MRE comes with Julian’s date code printed on the back of the package.
This will help tell if the calories present in it for an emergency is still good.
Sopakco MRE is a great addition to your 72-hour kit or bug-out bag.
Does MRE Food Expire?
MRE foods are durable with no specific expiration date, however, this doesn’t mean they’re invincible.
How To Tell If MRE Is Bad
If the package is bloated or if the food smells rancid, this is an indication that the MRE food isn’t good for consumption anymore.
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Best Alternatives For MRE Meals
Meals, Ready-to-Eat are compacted meals devised to survive long lifespans and resist rough conditions.
Though MREs are convenient for the United States Armed Forces and survivalists.
They happen to be expensive, bulky, and highly temperature sensitive.
On top of this, they are loaded with an excessive amount of Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Which has been associated with numerous diseases and poor conditions as well as addiction.
That’s why people are looking for alternatives for an MRE.
1. Humanitarian Daily Ration:
the first alternative for MRE is Humanitarian Daily Ration, often referred to as HDRs.
This spin-off of MRE is meant to supply food for large amounts of displaced people or refugees under emergencies.
Unlike MRE, HDR is cheaper and don’t contain animal products or by-products making it convenient for a variety of people with religious and/or dietary limitation.
Each HDR is meant to provide a full day’s worth of nutrients,
Supplying 2,200 calories and they are ready to eat from the package just like MRE.
However, they’re more desirable when heated in boiling water.
THESE INCLUDE THE ENTREES: Lentil or barley stew, Beans with tomato, Yellow or herb rice, Red beans, and rice,
Beans and rice with tomato sauce, and Peas in tomato soup.
THE SIDES: Shortbread, Fig bar, Vegetable crackers, Peanut butter, Strawberry jam, and a fruit pastry
THE ACCESSORIES: Box of matches, Packet of crushed red pepper, Moist towelette, Paper napkin, Plastic spoon, Salt, pepper, and sugar packets
The only major difference between the two products is that HDRs don’t last as long as MREs.
Eversafe can be said to be created for survivalists like you and me.
It is one of the civilian products for an MRE created by Eversafe’s manufacturer (Wornick) after receiving so many requests for MREs.
Apart from some minor differences Eversafe and MREs are nearly identical.
Although there is less of a variety with Eversafe than with MREs.
There are 6 menu options to choose from in Eversafe.
Within each meal, you’ll find instant creamer, pepper, coffee, salt, a napkin, and a spoon.
The first 3 meals come with chunky peanut butter, cinnamon imperials, and crackers in each.
3. Ameriqual APack
Ameriqual is the largest manufacturer of MREs for the U.S. military and they only released the civilian pack in 2006.
Apart from the beverage mix, the civilian pack is identical to that which they give the Armed Forces.
Ameriqual APack is just as sustainable as an MRE with the same longevity and resists similar conditions.
Unlike Eversafe which has less variety, the menu items are much more varied.
You are given raisins and crackers within each of these packs.
4. Coyote Camp Fireline Chow
Coyote Camp was originally created by firefighters for use in firefighting environments, disaster relief efforts, and SAR events,
But it has also created a different kind of alternative to MREs.
The packaging is all very similar to what you’d find in the HDR, Eversafe, and Ameriqual, however, that is the only similarity.
The major difference between Coyote Camp Fireline Chow and other MRE alternatives mentioned above is the fact that it is entirely implemented in commercial off-the-shelf items.
Everything you’ll find in the package is an immediately recognizable brand that some people out there will prefer eating,
making it one of the advantages Coyote Camp has over other MREs.
5. Do-It-Yourself MRE:
You can go to your local market and buy long-lasting food items and put them together in a bag.
However, some cooking talent is going to be needed here, but this is a sufficient means of survival food.
Salt, sugar (brown or white), raw honey, and alcohol (whiskey, rum, vodka, etc) are the 4 flavorings known for their extensive expiration.
The foundations common in most cooking recipes and can last for nearly a decade are buckwheat, dry corn,
Kamut, hard red wheat, soft white wheat, millet, durum wheat, barley, oat groats, quinoa, rye, pinto beans,
kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, adzuki beans, garbanzo beans, mung beans, black turtle beans,
blackeye beans, all-purpose flour, white flour, whole wheat flour, cornmeal, pasta, white rice, and coconut oil
The following items will last around half a decade and they can be used in terms of a short-term emergency.
Canned tuna, canned meats, canned vegetables and fruit, peanut butter, coffee, tea, ramen noodles,
hard candy, powdered milk, dried herbs and spices, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda
Lastly, you can add some basic necessities like Bic lighters, toilet paper, soaps, bottled water,
vitamins, medicines, bandages, peroxide, Lighter fluid, canning supplies, and or charcoal to your survival kit
To ensure you have a good survival adventure just as well as an MRE, if not better.
How To Store MRE Meals
To make sure your MREs last as long as possible you need to store them in a cool, dry place,
Avoid exposure to sunlight or extreme heat, and keep them away from moisture and water to help prolong their shelf life
How Long Do MREs Last Frozen
The normal shelf life of an MRE is between 7 and 9 years with no freezing.
So if frozen they will last up to 10 years.
How Long Do MREs Last At Room Temperature?
At a normal room temperature of 70° F, your MREs would last for about 3 years.
Note that the shelf life of the dry foods in an MRE such as cookies and crackers is way longer than the entree wet packs
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So We’ve been able to answer some common FAQs regarding MREs’ shelf life,
Their storage, consumption, alternatives, and what to do once they expire.
Expired MREs should only be eaten as the last resort.
Periodically check the expiration dates and refresh your stock this will serve as a better solution.