MRE Logistics
Fax: 941-952-0551

MRELogistics Frequently Asked Questions

Click on any of the questions below to see the answers for that question.

Q. What is an MRE?

A. The MRE or Meal-Ready-To-Eat is a self-contained complete meal designed to sustain an individual when normal food service is not available. One MRE = one meal. Except for the beverages, which require hydration (water), the entire meal is ready to eat.

The MRE is nutritionally balanced and provides around 1,200 calories (13% protein, 36% fat, and 51% carbohydrates) and 1/3 of the United States Military Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamins and minerals. A full day's worth of meals would consist of three MREs.

The MRE contents can and do vary, however depending upon the quantity ordered, MREs can be specifically tailored to meet your individual tastes and requirements. A typical MRE/meal will contain:

  • Entree Main course Chicken, beef, pork, eggs, or beans
  • Side Dish Vegetable, soup, or starch
  • Snack Item Trail mix, snack bar, candy or pretzels
  • Dessert Cookie, cake, fruit or chocolate bar
  • Beverages Gatorade-like drink mixes, coffee, or tea
  • Accessories Utensils, creamer, sugar, salt, pepper and a wet napkin
Q. How does the MRE taste?

A. The MRE basically tastes like any sort of prepared food from a jar or can. The MREs are not dehydrated. Since the MREs are cooked and packaged in its own sauce, it retains many of its own natural flavors and juices. The MREs are moist and tender and have been designed to be palatable for the average consumer.

As an example, the Oriental Chicken MRE entree tastes like canned Chinese food. The Beef Stew MRE entrée tastes like commercially jarred or canned beef stew. The amount of salt is not overpowering, but there is enough to avoid blandness. Essentially, the MRE is designed to be a completely normal, acceptable meal.

Q. How is an MRE packaged?

A. The modern MRE was introduced by the United States military as an alternative to rations packaged in hard, bulky metal cans. The modern MRE packaging is composed of thick, but flexible, aluminum and plastic layers made into a pouch. It is essentially a can, but it is lighter and it is a flat shape, which makes it easier to carry and store.

The thermo-stabilized pouches provide a long stable shelf life without refrigeration. It is also designed to withstand rough conditions and exposure to the elements. The MRE package is officially known as a tri-laminate retort pouch. The pouch is opened from the top and easily provides access to the contents.

MRE pouches have been tested and redesigned where necessary according to standards much stricter than for commercial food. They must be able to stand up to abuse tests such as obstacle course traversal in field clothing pockets, storage outdoors anywhere in the world, shipping under extremely rough circumstances (such as by truck over rocky terrain), 100% survival of parachute drops, 75% survival from free failure drops, and severe repetitive vibration.

Q. How do you eat an MRE?

A. True to its name, the MRE is a "ready to eat" fully cooked meal. All contents can be consumed immediately without adding water (except for the beverages which require the addition of water). While the entrees and sides are fine to eat cold, they usually taste much better when heated up with an Individual Ration Heater (IRH) or by boiling the MRE in water. Since the MRE pouch has a flat shape it takes much less time to heat the contents which often means a better tasting meal.

The IRH or flameless heater uses a simple chemical reaction to provide sufficient heat to warm the food. The concept behind a flameless heater is to use oxidation of a metal (usually magnesium) to generate heat. The IRH is activated with a little water and within seconds the flameless heater reaches the boiling point and is bubbling and steaming.

To heat the meal, just insert the pouch and about 10 minutes later your MRE/meal is ready to serve piping hot. Alternatively, boiling water can be used in the same fashion, by inserting the pouch into the boiling water; a hot meal can be ready in minutes.

Q. How long do MREs last (i.e. What is the shelf life of an MRE)?

A. MREs are designed to have a shelf life from three years (when stored at 80 degrees F) to over 10 years (when stored at 60 degrees F). Higher temperatures will decrease the MRE lifespan. Studies have taste-tested many MREs that were 10 to 15 years old and with the exception of some discoloration, they still tasted fine, had acceptable nutritional content and exhibited basic product safety characteristics. A regular rotation of MREs within 5 to 7 years is recommended.

Freezing an MRE does not destroy the food inside, but repeated freezing increases the chances that the stretching and stressing of the pouch will cause a break of a layer of the laminated and may damage the food. These pouches are made to withstand 1,000 flexes, but repetitive freezing does increase the failure rate by a small fraction of a percent. Also, if MRE food is frozen, then thawed out, it must be used the same as if you had thawed commercial food from your own freezer or home.

Q. How many MREs/meals do I need?

A. The number of meals you need is dependent upon the number of people you are going to feed and the number of days you are going to feed them. You also want to consider the number of meals each person will eat per day. For example, one person eating three meals per day for a thirty-day period will require 90 MREs.

Q. Are MRE/meals available for export?

A. Yes. We will ship MREs around the world. We have the ability to ship right to your front door or air-drop to combat troops or humanitarian programs within 48-72 hours anywhere in the world.

Q. Can I customize my MREs/meals?

A. Yes. Complete customization of your order may depend upon the quantity of meals ordered; however a wide variety of MREs/meals are available to you. Contact customer service at 1-877-MRE-MEAL, or email us at

Q. Do you make a less expensive MRE? I’m on a budget and need to supply a great number of people.

A. Yes. Although complete customization of your order may depend upon the quantity of meals ordered we offer the option of subtracting components, such as the cookie, from your MRE order.

We also make a standard economy MRE, which is available in minimum orders of 20 Pallets. This MRE is about $8.00 less per case and contains the same hearty entrée as well as trail mix and dry fruit. Smaller MREs are also available and are used for feeding large numbers of people in emergency situations. Contact customer service at 1-877-MRE-MEAL or email us at

Q. Do the MREs/meals come with heaters?

A. Some MREs/meals come with heaters and others require separate purchase for a nominal fee. Your shopping cart should indicate whether heaters are included. If you are unsure do not hesitate to contact customer service at 1-877-MRE-MEAL or send an email to

Q. Can I purchase my MREs from the website?

A. Yes. Individual orders of MREs can be purchased directly from the website using our secure service payment link and your shopping cart. Larger orders of MREs receive a bulk order discount and may require a bank wire or other secure funding.

Q. Are your MREs fresh?

A. Yes. Yes, they are manufactured upon order for the full GSA mandated 10yr shelf life.

Q. Can you deliver MREs/meals for specific dietary requirements?

A. Yes. We offer HACCP and ISO9000 certified Halal as well as Kosher MREs/meals.

Q. Does MRE Logistics offer quantity or bulk discounts?

A. Yes. We can provide any quantity of MREs/meals you may require. Call customer service at 1-877-MRE-MEAL or send an email to to determine your meal options and the price breaks for quantity or bulk orders that meet your preferences and specifications.

Q. How many MREs/meals come in a case?

A. There is a standard 12 MREs/meals in a case, however, with the options you have, including the option to include downsized MREs or lighter portions, the standard case may allow for more MREs/meals.

Q. How many cases of MREs/meals are in a pallet?

A. There is a standard 48 cases per pallet.

Q. What are the dimensions and weight of a standard case?

A. A standard case of MREs/meals is 16"L x 11.5"W x 10"H and weighs 20lbs.

Q. What are the dimensions and weight of a standard pallet?

A. A standard pallet of MREs/meals is 49"L x 41"W x 49"H and weighs 1,000lbs.

Q. How many pallets will ship by truck?

A. A total of 40 standard pallets will ship by truck.

Q. How many pallets will fit in a container?

A. A 20' FCL container will fit 16 pallets.
A. A 40' FCL container will fit 32 pallets.

Q. Do you have an operator I can call to help me determine the options for my MRE/meal order?

A. Yes. You may call customer service at 1-877-MRE-MEAL anytime to speak with our friendly and knowledgeable staff to review your MRE needs and specifications.

Q: How can I view the status of my order?

A. Go to the the shipping company's website, enter tracking number you received from order confirmation.
A. For trucked orders, contact shipper with PRO number which is supplied upon request. Air & sea freight information will be sent to you by the freight forwarder.

Q: What are my shipping costs?

A: You can view an estimate of shipping costs by viewing your cart. However, final shipping costs will be displayed on the Invoice you see before confirming your order.

Q: Can I make a purchase without using the online payment center?

A. Yes. You can purchase your order by offline payment by simply following the same procedure to order on-line with a credit card. However, instead of completing the transaction with a credit card online, print your shopping cart and fax or email to our office promptly.

Make your check or Money Order payable to “MRELogistics" and mail along with one copy of your printed order. Your order will be processed and shipped as soon as payment is received and verified. No orders can be shipped until paid in full. Money Orders are traceable "cash" payments and are processed normally upon receipt. Personal and Company Checks can take up to 10 days to clear your bank and are not the preferred method of payment. Offline orders not paid within 30 days will be discarded.

Q: What if I receive damaged merchandise?

A. Damaged shipments from handling must be claimed with the freight carrier. If any cartons are missing or damaged, be sure to note this on the packing list notifying the driver immediately. Refuse the delivery if any products are visibly damaged. Notify us immediately at 1-877-MRE-MEAL.

If you notice concealed damage after the driver has left, keep all the packing and call the freight carrier to return and inspect the damage and file a claim. We cannot be responsible for damage caused by the freight carrier. We will promptly resend any part or all of your order if necessary after you notify us of the products damaged or if you have to refuse the entire shipment.

Manufacturers Defects: If a product appears to have a manufacturers defect, call us at 1-877-MRE-MEAL for instructions. Do not return any item to us without first calling and receiving instructions. If an item is to be returned to us due to manufacturers defect, you must first receive a Return Authorization Number. No packages will be accepted without a Return Authorization Number written clearly on the box. Typically, we issue a pick up ticket to the delivery service for all defect returns.

Q: What is your policy for returned merchandise?

A. Permission for any return merchandise must be secured from our return department. For questions about returning merchandise please use our Feedback Form to submit a request to our Return Department. Health Department regulations forbid us from accepting returns on all food items. The return of non-defective merchandise when authorized will incur a 20% re-stocking fee. No packages will be accepted without a Return Authorization Number written on the box. After a return is authorized by our return department:

  1. Return the item to the address given to you by our return department.
  2. Write the Return Authorization Number on the box.
  3. Keep your shipping records for proof of shipment in the event of loss of returned merchandise. Returns shipped via U.S. Postal Service (U.S.P.S.) or with a value of over $100.00 should be insured. We are not liable for return merchandise that does not reach our return department. We will notify you via phone, mail, or e-mail of your refund once we have received and processed the returned item. You can expect a refund in the same form of payment originally used for purchase within 30 business days of our receiving your return. Please note that we can refund shipping costs only if the return is a result of our error.

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