Mars dating codes
For example, a tan #4 Ham Slice would have had to come from 1996-1998 because it was discontinued in 1998.A typical case will have both a packed date and an inspection date.The inspection date on MREs is usually three years after the packed date.Similarly, if you have a brown #6 Chicken Ala King, you can tell from the menu list that the last time that MRE was used was 1992 – so yours could be from 1992 or earlier.
The same sort of theory works for the newer tan MREs.
Here are some examples of date codes stamped on various MRE components: It can be more difficult to date individual unopened MREs because until 2003, date codes weren’t stamped on the actual MRE bags themselves.
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