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How Long Does MRE Last? Does it Go Bad?

Have you ever wondered what goes into designing, producing, and expiring an MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat)?

Magically popping up in emergency rations during times of distress and floods, MREs are undoubtedly meals for a variety of occasions.

But with each different case come new questions: Do MREs go bad? How should they be stored? What are their shelf lives?

If you’re wondering the same things about this miracle meal, then look no further!

We’ll explore how long do MRE last so you can enjoy your meals without worrying if they will go bad quickly.

Keep reading to learn the answers to this perplexing question!

What’s MRE?

MRE stands for Meal, Ready to Eat and is a self-contained, individual field ration in lightweight packaging.

MREs were first introduced in the 1980s as a way to provide soldiers with a nutritious and easy-to-carry meal that could be eaten on the go.

Today, MREs are still used by the military as well as disaster relief workers and hikers as an emergency food source.

MREs are designed to be durable and withstand a wide range of temperatures.

They can be stored at room temperature for up to three years or in a cooler environment for up to five years.

Each MRE contains all the necessary nutrients and calories needed to sustain an adult for one meal.

MREs typically include an entree, side dish, crackers, spreads, dessert, instant coffee or tea, and utensils.

While MREs are a convenient and easy-to-use emergency food source, there are some drawbacks.

MREs can be expensive, costing up to $15 per meal.

They also require access to water in order to prepare the meals.

Additionally, some people find the taste of MREs to be unappetizing.

How to Store MRE?

MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) are a type of food that is designed to be easy to store and easy to prepare.

They are often used by the military, but can also be found in camping stores or online.

MREs come in a variety of different flavors and can be eaten cold or heated up.

MREs can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 5 years.

If you are planning on storing them for longer than that, it is best to keep them in a freezer.

MREs can be eaten cold, but they taste better when they are heated up.

To heat an MRE, you can use a stove, microwave, or even a campfire.

If you are using a stove, you will need to add water to the MRE before heating it.

Microwaving an MRE is the easiest way to heat it up, and you don’t need to add any water.

If you are using a campfire, you will need to wrap the MRE in foil before cooking it.

No matter how you choose to heat your MRE, it is important to make sure that it is cooked all the way through before eating it.

How Long Does MRE Last?

MREs are designed to have a shelf life of up to 3 years, although they can last longer if stored properly.

If you’re wondering how long your MRE will last, it’s important to keep in mind that the answer depends on a few different factors, including how it’s been stored and what type of MRE it is.

MREs can last anywhere from 1 to 3 years, depending on how they’ve been stored.

If you store your MREs in a cool, dry place, they will last longer than if you store them in a hot, humid environment.

The type of MRE also plays a role in how long it will last – entrees tend to have a shorter shelf life than snacks or desserts.

So, if you’re wondering how long your MRE will last, the answer is somewhere between 1 and 3 years – but it really depends on how you’ve stored it and what type of MRE it is.

Can You Freeze MRE?

MREs, or Meals Ready to Eat, are a type of food that is designed to be eaten in emergency situations.

They are typically high in calories and nutrients, and can be stored for long periods of time without going bad.

But what about freezing them? Can you freeze MREs, and if so, how long will they last?

The short answer is yes, you can freeze MREs.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you do choose to freeze them.

First of all, it is important to note that the freezing process will not make the MREs last longer than they already do.

In other words, if an MRE has a shelf life of 5 years, it will still only last for 5 years after being frozen.

Second, the freezing process may cause some of the components of the MREs to become separated.

For example, the sauce and meat might become separated from the rice.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something to be aware of.

Finally, it is important to thaw MREs properly before eating them.

The best way to do this is to place them in a pot of boiling water for 10-15 minutes.

This will ensure that they are cooked all the way through and safe to eat.

So there you have it. You can freeze MREs, but there are a few things to keep in mind if you do choose to do so.

How to Tell If MRE is Bad?

If you’re wondering how to tell if your MRE is bad, there are a few things you can look for.

First, check the expiration date on the package. If it’s expired, then the MRE is probably not safe to eat.

Second, take a look at the food itself. If it’s discolored or moldy, then it’s probably not safe to eat either.

Third, smell the food. If it smells bad, then it’s probably not safe to eat.

If you’re still not sure, then the best thing to do is to throw it out.

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food safety.

MREs are designed to be shelf-stable for a long time, but that doesn’t mean they last forever.

If in doubt, err on the side of caution and throw it out.


MREs have a long shelf life, but they will eventually go bad.

How long an MRE lasts depends on how it is stored.

If properly stored, an MRE can last for years.

However, if not stored properly, an MRE will only last for a few months.

To extend the shelf life of an MRE, it is best to store it in a cool, dark place.

how long does mre last

How Long Does MRE Last? Does it Go Bad?

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • MRE
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Store your product in an labelled container in a cool, dark place like the pantry or fridge.
  • If your food is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before cooking.
  • Make sure to look for signs that your food has gone bad before eating it.
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