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MRE shelf life

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  • MRE shelf life

    I read these words on the page “Emergency Survival Kit” on KGMB’s website, a TV station in Hawaii. This is the same information on emergency kits you will get from the American Red Cross or FEMA.

    What “cycle” actually means here is that you throw out the food and water every 6 months.

    In terms of food, the real answer on how often you need to “cycle” really depends on the 2 things.

    First the type of food you chose to put in your emergency kit will determine how often you need to throw out the food in the kit and replace it with a fresh food supply.

    If you choice was to store energy bars, every 6 months will likely be the case.

    If you choose MRE, then the food will store 5-7 years so you will not need to throw it out every 6 months. This information should help you decide on which food to buy, as MRE will be a better choice if you include the cost of throwing out 10-14 supplies of energy bars or other food you replace every 6 months (if you remember to do it, if you don’t you will have a different problem when disaster strikes).

    However as stated above how often you need to cycle the food in a survival kit depends on two things.

    The second thing is the storage conditions for your survival kit. If you store your kit in a cool dry place your MRE will last up to 7 years.

    However if you keep a kit in the trunk of your car, the high temperatures will dramatically reduce the shelf life of MRE or energy bars. I am not saying don’t keep a kit in your car, it is important to be ready wherever you may be in a disaster, but you may need to make extra effort to replace food if you do.

    Daytime temperatures in the trunk of a car can get well over 120 degrees F on even a warm day. Below is an MRE shelf life chart based on studies by the U.S. Army’s NATIC Research Laboratories.

    If you store MRE in a place that the temperature is elevated for any sustained period of time then you will need to replace your food more often. The data below is useful, but not a guarantee of product, you will have to refer to the manufacturer of your food for accurate information on that specific product.

    Temperature (°F) Months of Shelf-Life
    120 1
    110 5
    100 22
    90 55
    80 76
    70 100
    60 130
    In my lumpy chair

  • #2
    I never throw away food unless it's bad....that's why I make my own's stuff I know I'll eat when it comes time to rotate...whereas an authentic MRE is not really desirable food.....I can't see the logic in storing food just to toss it when it reaches or nears expiration.

    Plus, a well thought-out DIY MRE will last as long as a commercially available unit...longer in some cases.
    "I Have Sworn Upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." -Thomas Jefferson

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