Tray Rations

Discussions about US MREs and other US rations
obscurotron
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Tray Rations

Post by obscurotron » Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:00 pm

Hi folks, long-time lurker, first-time poster.

I was hoping someone could answer a question about the tray rations/UGRs.

I found one on eBay and ordered it (cornbread stuffing with sausage).

It's in a plastic tray, inside a cardboard sleeve, and the ration is made by Wornick.

The label, however (seller neglected to mention) says "LAB SAMPLE - 08110402 -- NOT FOR SALE"

The "LAB SAMPLE" part has me a little concerned, wiith images of radioactice mice being used as the primary meat for the "sausage" component, etc. ;)

So, what does "LAB SAMPLE" mean exactly and since this was supposed to go in the "preparedness pile", should I just dump it and gripe at the seller?

-e

Ration Man
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Lab Sample??

Post by Ration Man » Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:36 pm

Holy Cow! LAB SAMPLE! NOT FOR SALE!

Run away from that! Better safe than sorry.

Curious collectable maybe but replace it with ten pounds of rice for your emergency larder....

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kman
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Post by kman » Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:21 pm

Hi obscurotron - welcome to the forums!

Like Ration Man said...put the tray ration down and back away slowly... :-)

Seriously, though, I think Wornick and the other MRE producers are always coming up with new varieties of MRE entrees and tray rations. They probably produce short-run batches of these and send them to the military for taste-testing. Some are accepted and many probably aren't.

It sounds like your tray ration is one of those. If it were me, I'd probably not eat it. I mean, surplused MREs are one thing but lab samples are another. I'd be more inclined to file a complaint against the ebay seller for failing to adequately describe the item.

obscurotron
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Post by obscurotron » Sat Feb 18, 2006 9:44 pm

kman,

Good thoughts. Apparently the seller works for the military in some capacity. This was the seller's reply, in part:

"I work for a military base that uses mre's and other thing for display and setups. Instead of buying what is needed for the display, they buy palets of extras. they use
what they need and give everything else to us. i know that they get custom
mre's straight from the factory, so there is no surprise if it might say
something on it. i esure you that it is good and i would never sell anything
that i felt was tampered with or not safe."

So what that means, I don't know. But I've never seen this particular tray described anywhere else. Oh well I'll hang onto it for now, maybe feed some to the dogs first if and when I open it. :)

obscurotron
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Post by obscurotron » Thu Mar 02, 2006 11:29 pm

kman wrote:Hi obscurotron - welcome to the forums!

Like Ration Man said...put the tray ration down and back away slowly... :-)

Seriously, though, I think Wornick and the other MRE producers are always coming up with new varieties of MRE entrees and tray rations. They probably produce short-run batches of these and send them to the military for taste-testing. Some are accepted and many probably aren't.

It sounds like your tray ration is one of those. If it were me, I'd probably not eat it. I mean, surplused MREs are one thing but lab samples are another. I'd be more inclined to file a complaint against the ebay seller for failing to adequately describe the item.
Well, since 2 more cases of 2/08 MRE's came, I decided yesterday to pop open that tray ration.

First impression - it looked off in color, but smelled fine, seal was intact.

Cut a bit out and microwaved it. There was lots of congealed fat on the food, likely from all the sausage embedded in it.

Taste: salty, no off taste, once heated up looked more or less like any other stuffing, but too salty for my taste. I ate about 3-4 ounces last night, and gave a bit to the dogs. We're all still alive!

Tonight I decided to have a bit more. I don't know about you all, but when I think "cornbread" I think something buttery and full of honey. So I microwaved a bit more of the stuff and added a little bit of clover honey. Let it soak in. It balances out the salt and it's pretty darn good!

As for the "lab" marking on it, I did some poking around. All major food and confection makers have 'lab' kitchens where they sanitarily produce new items for testing and tasting, and to refine cooking or packaging techniques. That is likely exactly what this is. Since this stuff is not visually appetizing, and is a bit too salty (and laden with fat), I would guess the DoD rejected it as a dish. But, if you can find one of these in good condition, I say get it and either put it in a glass case, or enjoy it!!! :)

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kman
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Post by kman » Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:47 am

Thanks for the update/review obscurotron! Did you happen to get any pictures?

obscurotron
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Post by obscurotron » Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:31 pm

kman wrote:Thanks for the update/review obscurotron! Did you happen to get any pictures?
Not yet. I haven't gone through all of it, since it's just the wife and I (she doesn't mind the salt). I'll get a snapshot this evening or next and share. :)

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CaptBob
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Post by CaptBob » Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:07 pm

I recently scored a T-Rat on eBay for 99¢. It's an "Omelet with Bacon and Cheese". Mmmmm.

Maybe I'll snap some pics if, and when, I open it up.

I should either invite some friends for breakfast . . . or be REALLY hungry!

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kman
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Post by kman » Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:39 pm

Wow - 99 cents. That's either a really good deal or a really bad/expired tray of omelets. :-)

Have you given it a try yet?

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CaptBob
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Post by CaptBob » Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:45 pm

It arrived last week.

Haven't opened it up yet. I need to get a few others to help me try it. Otherwise, I've got omelet leftovers for a couple of weeks!

Trust me -- when I open it and sample it, pictures and a review will follow shortly.

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