Expired or Damaged Heater Question

Discussions about US MREs and other US rations
Jack Crevalle
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Expired or Damaged Heater Question

Post by Jack Crevalle » Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:22 pm

Hi, having not found this site until after I ordered and therefore not knowing any better, I ordered some commercial MREs which were made at the Evansville plant.

They are not as bad as I would have assumed by reading here first but they aren't as generously packaged as the milspec ones or Sopak ones. They did not cost as much either so it's no big deal.

They were packaged with the old-style heaters, "1992" which was a bonus since the advertising didn't say anything about heaters being included in any case. My wife wanted to see one (which surprised me because I thought she'd give me endless crap for buying them) so I opened one. The heater appeared to have some of it's contents broken and laying sand-like in the bottom. I was worried about putting the entree in this bag per instructions since I was worried about the chemicals getting stuck to the bag and transfered into the food so I placed the entree on top of the heater in the cardboard box. It seemed to heat it adequately and was quite tasty (sloppy joe filling).

I was wondering if anyone else had this problem and whether I was being overly cautious? Should I just have put the entree in the bag? Should I not be using the defective(?) heaters at all?

Thanks.

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kman
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Post by kman » Wed Oct 05, 2005 4:02 pm

Hi Jack - welcome to the forums!

With the older flameless ration heaters (FRHs), it seemed like you always got a little bit of heater residue on your entree pouch. I always just wiped it off. If some of the grainy heater parts had escaped from the cardboard hold, I wouldn't worry about it too much - just clean off the outside of the pouch after you heat it and you should be ok.

Regarding those older FRHs, here's what TheEpicenter.com had to say about them:
In the old style heater, the chemical is sandwiched between a cardboard like material. These old style units take a bit more time for the water to soak into the chemical, and so they take more time to get going. They also leave more "sand like" heating byproduct on your MRE that you have to wipe off before you open your MRE.

The debate continues as to whether or not MRE heaters have a shelf life. All these heaters are from the same production date and lot number, and we have tested random samples until we were blue in the face and couldn't find one that didn't work. Yes, they took more time to get going than the new production units, but got so hot you couldn't touch them. Wow!
That's pretty much my experience, too. The newer heaters are lightning-fast while the older ones are slower but still get the job done.

Jack Crevalle
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Post by Jack Crevalle » Wed Oct 05, 2005 4:14 pm

Thanks for the reply. I'm not too concerned about the time involved. I got these just for emergencys altough I'll probably rotate them by using them when I go fishing etc. I'll probably start repkacing the used ones with sopaks.

Great site!

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Treesuit
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Post by Treesuit » Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:36 pm

Hey Guys,
I was wondering when somebody might open this thread up, so I have a question. I was opening up some MRE's yesterday and I noticed two distinct FRH's both dated 2001, but one was in a lime green package with the paper wedge blocks in it and another with just a big block of Hydrogen compound in it. I thought that was strange so I would ask if one or more than one manufacturers make the FRH's. If so is there any difference betwen the two? thanks

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kman
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Post by kman » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:51 am

Hi Treesuit. I'm pretty sure Zestotherm has been making the FRHs all along. But over the years, they've tried different ways of containing the chemicals - those cardboard pieces, the waffle-like element, the free-floating bag, etc. Maybe that's what you're seeing.

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Treesuit
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Post by Treesuit » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:51 pm

Kman,
Hmmm...Yes, good point. Althought I wonder if Zestotherm was the original manufacturer of the FRH's? I was in back in 1991 when the first ones arrived, though I wonder if some other contractor got a bid in to make FRH's as well and what I saw the other day was a relic from yesteryear. I did forget to mention the one with the solid Hydrogen block was in a light tan color and didn't have a NSN # on it like the lime green one next to it. Maybe that was the year they switched? :?

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cat
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Re: Expired or Damaged Heater Question

Post by cat » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:15 am

Jack Crevalle wrote:The heater appeared to have some of it's contents broken and laying sand-like in the bottom.
Sorry to reply to such an old post, but…

I placed an order with American Made Survival (really friendly people, btw) and picked up a pack of the "old style FRHs." Unfortunately they have the same issue as the OP mentions. The powder is spilling so much that the retort pack ends up a real mess. This is just an FYI.

-Brian
Attachments
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FRH - Front
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FRH - Back

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MCIera
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Re: Expired or Damaged Heater Question

Post by MCIera » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:26 am

You could always place the entree on top of the FRH without putting the entree pouch into the heater bag. That should keep the residue from transferring to the entree pouch.
cat wrote:Unfortunately they have the same issue as the OP mentions. The powder is spilling so much that the retort pack ends up a real mess. This is just an FYI.

-Brian

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cat
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Re: Expired or Damaged Heater Question

Post by cat » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:36 am

MCIera wrote:You could always place the entree on top of the FRH without putting the entree pouch into the heater bag.
I just tried that and it worked very well.

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Big Galloot
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Post by Big Galloot » Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:35 pm

Did anyone mention that the chemicals in the FRHs are non-toxic?

If any did find there way into your food no harm would com from it.
You can pick your friends
and you can pick your nose
but you can't roll your friends into little green balls!

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