Letter Re: Deciphering MRE Date Codes

My thanks to R.E.M. for his hard-earned experience on rotating food stocks. Perhaps I can ease his frustration a bit about not reading the packing date of USGI MREs – there is indeed a numbered code packing date on every MRE case, the outside of the newer USGI MRE retort packages and best of all, every individual item in each MRE package. You can go to the www.mreinfo.com web site for the whole story, but to condense the code for you, say you have a four-digit or longer number on the outside of the package – take the first number to mean the last number of the year the item was packed and the next three numbers to mean the day of the 365 or 366 day calendar year. For instance a date code of 6097 means that the item was packed on the 97th day of the year 2006, or April 7th, 2006. Knowing this code can be very handy and expedient when you are browsing cases of MREs at a gun show or individual items at a surplus store. You can refer to the web site above for more detailed information and shortened or extended storage times of MREs dependent on the temperature. The web site also has a sub-page for foreign GI MREs, and info on them, for overseas readers. regards, – Redclay