The packaging date will be shown on the information label, which is on the outside of every case of MRE STAR meals.
This label/date enables you to easily track the shelf life of your MREs.
However, cost-cutting measures by Quartermaster Command officials during the latter part of World War II and the Korean War again saw the predominance of heavy canned C rations issued to troops, regardless of operating environment or mission.
After repeated experiences with providing prepared rations to soldiers dating from before World War II, Pentagon officials ultimately realized that simply providing a nutritionally balanced meal in the field was not adequate.
Space Program, Military, Forest Service, and FEMA have used MREs since the 1970s.
In 1963, the Department of Defense began developing the "Meal, Ready to Eat", a ration that would rely on modern food preparation and packaging technology to create a lighter replacement for the canned Meal, Combat, Individual ration.
Their opinions – based solely on taste – were combined to determine when a particular component, or in this case the entire MRE ration, was no longer acceptable.