Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MREs)
Long Shelf Life Food Supply

(Informational page on MREs)

MREs (Meals-Ready-to-Eat) are long shelf life meals that can be eaten hot or cold. The MREs were designed by leading nutritionists and chefs to be tasty and nutritional. They are packaged in a triple-layer foil/plastic "retort" pouch. This is then sealed, cooked and not exposed to air until opened. Thus the food is actually sterilized in the pouch and blocked from future contamination. The results is an almost unbelievable shelf life, and food which retains it natural moisture and juice. They are light weight, easy to store, and easy to use. They can be heated by any number of methods, or eaten cold (they are fully cooked).

MREs typically have a five to seven year shelf life, if stored in a cool environment. Storage temperature does affect the shelf life of MREs. The chart below shows the projected storage life of MRE meals over different time periods. The effect of temperature and time are cumulative. As an example, if stored at 100 degrees for 11 months and moved to 70 degrees, would lose one half of the 70 degree storage life. The shelf life determination is based on product taste. The nutritional content and basic product safety would extend way beyond this point.

MREs provide an excellent source of prepared food for all forms of emergencies. They can also be used for non-emergency events like camping and hunting trips, scouting outings, etc.

MRE Storage Life Chart
Temperature (degrees F)Months of Storage
1201
1105
10022
9055
8076
70100
60130


MREs are an important part of the emergency food options. However, B&A Products currently does not stock MRE as they have been difficult to obtain and suppliers have been unreliable. If you need certain items we will be willing to check with a number of suppliers to see if particular items are available.
OR, we now do have an alternative to MREs, so check out our new line of Self-Heating Meals.

Related Information:
Ready Reserve Foods Long Shelf Life Food
AlpineAire Gourmet Reserves Shelf Stable Food
Self-Heating Meals - an alternative to MREs
Survival Tabs Emergency Food Rations
Newsletter article: An Emergency/Survival Food Primer

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Emergency Preparedness Products for earth changes

Original date: August 23, 1997
Last updated: July 8, 2000
Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000