There are several questions that are repeated on the forums, one of them being about MRE shelf life. On the bottom of the case of MREs, there should be a red sticker – with a 2 red circles inside of a red square.
Both of these two red circles should be a different shade of red, the closer the two reds are, the sooner you need to open one MRE out of that case and see if its still good.
On the bottom of the case, there should be two dates – a manufacture date and a test date. 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.
MRE‘s are VERY sensitive to temperature. One day over 100 degrees takes about one month off the shelf life. Store the MRE’s in the coolest part of your house, maybe a closet or a basement.