Chances are that you buy an MRE and you are wondering if it is still good. You may also be wondering the shelf life of this product. Well, the fact is that there many answers to this question. In other words, expect to receive official answers, practical answers, and there are those that are simply made up.
The official answer is that MRE shelf life will depend on the time it has been stored and the temperature it is stored at. At a minimum, these products should last for more than 6 months when they are stored at 49 degrees Celsius. They can also last for 10 years if they are stored at a 10 degrees Celsius. Well, in other words, the lower the storage temperature, the longer this product can stay without going bad. This is the official report released back in 2010.
NOTE: It is important to avoid MREs Shelf Life Old Chart which is also available online. The old chart shows that “if you store this product in a high-temperature room, the longer it can stay without going bad.” The Table was published back in the 1980s; the first time when MREs were manufactured. The chart says that this product can stay for 130 months if stored at 15 degrees Celsius.
Since 1997, MRE cases were included with a sticker known as TTI (Time and Temperature Indicators). This indicator aided inspectors to determine if MREs are still good. As long as the outter circle is darker than the inner circle, the product can still be eaten.
However, practically, these products can last for a very long time. As long as the MRE component is not damaged, swelled or punctured, they are still edible.