DH found two modern MREs in the pantry. They apparently PCSed with us. I say modern because in my field, they are usually historic and well past their prime. (ha.ha.ha, read on...)
These were not from his field, they didn't get packed up and shipped out. Well, we don't think so. Both of us vaguely remember when we bought them, on the homefront as part of our Hurricane Ride Out supplies.
So, how long ago was that? Well over two years, maybe going on.... five?
I decided to do some research to to see if theses ones were still edible. Google took me to an awesome website, www.mreinfo.com. This resource has great pictures, explanations, and a year by year break down of your food, which helped me date mine: Chili and Macaroni, only produced in some years which threw off our date stamp estimate (ex: 1001).
"However, some cases will use a different form such as "1068". In this case, the first number "1" stands for the year (2001) and the next three numbers indicate which day of the year (365 days in a year) it was packed. So "068" would be day 68 of the year 2001...or March 9, 2001." www.mreinfo.com
We tried to figure out the actual date. The first bag was not exactly helpful but bag two had a better series of numbers... we think it might have been 14 years old by now.... wow time has flown.
DH was worried someone would get sick and so he tossed the food. One website said MREs are good for 10 years, another 5, and our MRE Info had an interesting Applesauce Test which will keep me from eating undated (until you open it) MREs. As soon as possible, please!
Ours were made by AmeriQual, and had printed: "Government Property Commercial Resale is Unlawful..." A bit more info digging made sure that these were real gov't MREs and not the natural disaster ones. They were all over after Katrina hit.
In our bags were Tootsie Rolls and a block of Charms candy- I was shocked (I had no idea they contained candy with built-in nostalgia generators), still soft and squishy (where they originally soft and squishy? Ew...). The Charms did not survive the years at who knows what temperature test. Fail. The color was off and they were stuck to each other and the wrapper. No, we didn't try it! Nasty of you to even think it...The Roll went right in the trash.
The matches still worked, at least. So if we were stuck in a zombie apocalypse, we would be starving or sick with intestinal distress, but we could still light something on fire. And there is always the Tabasco sauce.