The date stamped on the Ameriqual APack Ready Meals, or MREs, is the production date for that specific product. Ameriqual does not place expiration dates on its MREs because variances in storage conditions can change the shelf life of the product. Generally, the closer to 50 degrees Fahrenheit that the product is stored, the longer it will last. The date code will consist of four numbers that indicate the day and the year on which the product was made.
Look on the package for a four-digit number. This number will be stamped somewhere on the packaging.
Look at the first number. This number indicates the year that the MRE was produced. For example, if the first number is 7, the MRE was produced in 2007.
Look at the last three digits collectively. These numbers will tell you the day of the year that the MRE was produced. For example, if the last three digits are 109, the MRE was produced on the 109th day of the year, which, in a non-leap year, is April 19.
Shelf life of the MRE depends greatly on the conditions under which it was stored and can range from one month to five years. If you can, find out the storage conditions of the MRE before you eat it, as this will determine whether it is safe for consumption.