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Sopakco MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) FAQ

Are Sure-Pak MRE dehydrated or freeze dried?

No. Dehydrated or freeze dried foods typically require that water be added in order to be prepared and eaten. Our MRE main courses and side dishes are “meals ready to eat”, and do not require you to add water to the contents.

Can I eat the products cold?

Yes. The main entrees (such as Beef Stew, Chili with Macaroni or similar items) do not require additional cooking prior to being eaten. All MRE may be eaten cold, directly from the pouch. Heating of the products is considered optional, although most people do prefer to warm their meal when possible.

How do I warm my MRE?

MRE pouches may be warmed in many ways. Although the pouch is a reasonably sturdy and durable container, it can be damaged if too high of a temperature is applied. DO NOT apply a direct flame to the pouch. DO NOT use any high temperature heating process that could harm the pouch or cause injury or damage to your skin. Instead, the following methods are suggested methods of “gently warming” your food:
1. The unopened MRE pouch may be placed in a pan of warm water for 5-10 minutes. Do not use hot water, which may burn the user if spilled.
2. Lay the pouch in direct sunlight, allowing it to warm.
3. The unopened pouch may be placed inside your shirt, allowing your body temperature to help warm the food inside.
4. The unopened pouch may be laid on a warm surface, to absorb the heat from the warm object.
5. The pouch may be opened and the food placed into a pan for heating.
6. Pouches may also be heated using Water-Activated Flameless Heaters. 

How long will these MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) last?

We use an estimated shelf life figure of “3-5 years, plus or minus” for its pouched food products. Actual shelf life may vary from this estimate. A key factor effecting actual shelf life is the temperature of the storage environment. Storage at temperatures higher than 85F (85 degrees Fahrenheit) may shorten the shelf life of MRE-type food products. On the other hand, lowering the storage temperature will help extend the products' shelf life. This effect is common to most processed food products.

The shelf life figures given below for pouched meals are based on studies conducted by the U.S. Army's NATIC Research Laboratories. This study was conducted by NATIC without participation of the MRE manufacturers. As such, CampingSurvival.com cannot verify the test procedures used by the NATIC labs, nor do we adopt these shelf life figures as a guarantee of any sort. The data is useful, though, as a general indication of the effects of storage temperatures on the shelf life of MRE-type food products.

 Temperature (Fahrenheit):  100º 90º 85º 80º 75º 70º 60º
 Storage Life in Months: 22 55 60 76 88 100 130+

The above storage data and time periods were based on “acceptable taste” measures, which is a subjective standard that may vary among each individual. Test participants were asked to indicate which products they were presented would be rated to still be of “acceptable taste”. Responses were noted, and average values were calculated to yield the data above.

The above data does not indicate the maximum useful life of MRE type food products. The NATIC study noted that nutritional value and product safety value of the products often extended far beyond these time points.

Again, we in no way adopts the NATIC shelf life figures as any form of express or implied guarantee of the actual shelf life of its MRE type food products. This information is provided as a general indication of the effects of storage temperature on MRE-type packaged foods.

Will these products work for camping trips?

Absolutely! The ready-to-eat convenience of Sure-Pak meals make them ideally suited for use while camping, hunting, fishing and hiking.

Would it make sense for me to store Sure-Pak meals as a source of food for my family or employees in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency?

It makes very good sense. Many individuals, companies and other organizations purchase and store MRE as emergency food supplies in the event of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms or other emergency situations.