Does MRE filed stripping decrease its shelf life?

Discussions about US MREs and other US rations
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Woodland
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Does MRE filed stripping decrease its shelf life?

Post by Woodland » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:08 am

Hello everybody

I have read an interesting thing about field stripped MREs recently.The link is :

http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=30421

Do you have any information about this theory? I don't think it's true.Individual items are packed and sealed in multi-layered packaging that is quite robust and thick.The outer bag is just for keeping everything together.Or not? Do they use packaging gas?I don't think so.
I usually open every ration pack in order to check if the contents are O.K. soon after buying them.I also field strip them because I'll never drink MRE Grape Beverage (or any flavour) etc.

What do you think?

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housil
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Re: Does MRE filed stripping decrease its shelf life?

Post by housil » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:05 am

I don´t think so.
He pretends it´s decreasing the shelf life by 50%, but does not have ANY evidence about his claim.
The outer bag has (had in the past) a rat repellent to keep rats away from the rations so it was advised not the open the bags with your mouth/teeth.
I store all the leftovers I have in boxes and none of them got spoiled yet. Due to my personal experiance, he is wrong.

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Treesuit
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Re: Does MRE filed stripping decrease its shelf life?

Post by Treesuit » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:48 am

I'll jump in with my experience. After even a lot of MRE's in my lifetime, I've field stripped lots of them. It makes sense to get rid of the extra junk if your trying to go light and reduce weight.

I know from personal experience and from a friend of mine in my Army Reseve unit who was with the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan in 2002 during Operation Anaconda. His rifle platoon stripped their MRE's down to main meal, crackers, spoon, and dessert. Everything else they ditched to save space and eat just what they really wanted. Though when you do that you take away certain vitamins and minerals away from your daily consumption that you may need. Also note that Anaconda was in the early spring so they had snow and cold weather then too. So his platoon was just barely getting by with their nutritional intake.

As for the claim about when open the MRE bag its shelf life decrease, is pretty farfetched, and he doesn't give a lot in background information to support his claim. For instance, the main meals are thermostabilized before packing, there heated at high temperatures so bacteria can't grow as fast in them. Even if you store them in a cool, dry place out of sunlight they will still be good for a few more years. Until, that guy posts something from Natick Laboratory I would regard it as a myth.

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Woodland
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Re: Does MRE filed stripping decrease its shelf life?

Post by Woodland » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:20 am

Thank you for answering.
I supplement my MREs with civilian and sport food.For instance fruit puree like in the british Multi Climate rations,dried fruits etc. I take multivitamin and 500mg vitamin C etc. I'm a civilian so I don't have to endure all the stress and physical strain that infantry soldiers have to. I like to eat MREs because they are very practical and I'm addicted to military rations :)
As for that guy on zombiehunters, since I have never had problems with my field stripped MREs I didn't believe him,but there are more experienced people than me here on this site and I wanted check his claims.
By the way.I read a post from housil about a spoiled Chicken Cavatelli and somebody replied that he had had a food poisoning from an older Turkey entree...The first MREs in my life were about 7 years old (dark brown bag,I think from 1993) and because I didn't know anything about MREs and the guy who gave me them told me that they would be good for 10 years I believed him.Actually I loved them except for the ham slice...anyway..My question is,how often do you find spoiled or suspicious MREs? I opened a Menu 19 Roast beef few days ago and the chocolate peanut butter is like it quite soft,much softer than regular peanut butter.Is it normal?
Second question:I found two entree pouches(date 2011) that have deep crease.No leaking,nothing serious.They are my favourite and I want to save them for minimum a year.Will they last?
Sorry for asking stupid questions :oops:
I didn't care about these things before...hmmm

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housil
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Re: Does MRE filed stripping decrease its shelf life?

Post by housil » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:00 pm

Woodland wrote: ... and the guy who gave me them told me that they would be good for 10 years I believed him.Actually I loved them except for the ham slice...anyway..My question is,how often do you find spoiled or suspicious MREs?
The shelf life of MREs depends to the storage conditions, mostly the temperature.
Check out the
Image

and have a look at the TTI sticker. But even when the sticker was turned dark, I ate them. Just the cheese had changed his "texture".
What spoiles for sure is the Taster´s Choice coffee. Currently I´m eating my 2003 MREs, all the coffee is molded :cry:
Woodland wrote: Second question:I found two entree pouches(date 2011) that have deep crease.No leaking,nothing serious.They are my favourite and I want to save them for minimum a year.Will they last?
Sorry for asking stupid questions :oops:
It gives no stupid question - just stupid answers :mrgreen:

Don´t worry about the entrees.

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Treesuit
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Re: Does MRE filed stripping decrease its shelf life?

Post by Treesuit » Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:28 pm

Woodland,

Unfortunately, there are no stupid questions, just questions not asked.. :wink: As for those of us who have found or accidently ate spoiled MRE's, there is a simple way to determine if your entree or MRE has gone bad. That is just open it up and do the look, smell, taste check. On the forum there is a step by step process the forum put together, do a simple check around the thread and you should be able to find it. If it is obviously bloated or leaking then throw it away.

As for main meals, they are okay if you properly store them. As for peanut butter just mush the package together and mix everything up. Peanut butter can hardly go bad.

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Woodland
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Re: Does MRE filed stripping decrease its shelf life?

Post by Woodland » Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:50 am

Thank you all :wink:

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Re: Does MRE filed stripping decrease its shelf life?

Post by rations_qa » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:34 pm

just wanted to ring in, as my screen name implies I do QA with the Army subsitance program.

Treesuit made a comment about the guys from Natick Laboratory putting out something concerning this well they did and he right about it being a myth. Natick published "Military Food Engineering and Ration Technology" they state " the current outer Meal Bag provides no shelf life benefit for the non-retort and retort pouch." because it is a moisture, insect barrier but doesn't prevent O2 from getting in.

Woodland as to your second question deep creases in the pouch can cause pin holes in the foil of the quadlam which could shorten shelf life, follow everyones advice when you open it and if it does smell right or look right don't eat it.

keep them dry and cool to maintain max shelf life.

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housil
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Re: Does MRE filed stripping decrease its shelf life?

Post by housil » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:32 pm

rations_qa wrote:follow everyones advice when you open it and if it does smell right or look right don't eat it.
"...if it smell right or look right don´t eat it"

If it´s just to me because I´m not a native English speaking guy or shouldn´t it read "does not"?

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Re: Does MRE filed stripping decrease its shelf life?

Post by Dingleberry Johnston » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:15 pm

rations_qa wrote:just wanted to ring in, as my screen name implies I do QA with the Army subsitance program...
I believe the word is "sustenance"...not "subsitance".

No offense meant, but when you claim to be someone who works with/for the military in a specific program...maybe it would help if you spelled the word correctly. It would help your credibility.

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