This week, we were asked a common question by a customer regarding the expiration of Emergency Rations.
So what does one typically do with the expired emergency ration items (food, etc.)? Would it be ok for us to give it to our employees to take home to help start their own emergency kit? It cant be that bad to use in a disaster if its expired…right?
We hear questions like this frequently, so here is your answer:
The majority of these packaged “rations” have a shelf life of 5 years. Companies such as Survivor Industries or Datrex have specifically designed their packaging and the contained product for this purpose. We strongly advise against giving employees expired items to store in their emergency kits and even eating it for that matter. After the 5 years the packaging that keeps the items safe, begins to break down and becomes susceptible to leaching and its ability to protect the contents from the environments is loosing it effectiveness.
Shortly after the shelf life expires it is possible that the food becomes tainted and could be dangerous if consumed. The tainted product may possibly cause diarrhea leading to dehydration; one of the few thing you are trying to prevent in a an emergency situation. A more serious concern is the growth of Clostridium Botulinum Bacteria, which causes Botulism, a dangerous illness.
Don’t want to throw away your supplies? Consider hosting an emergency preparedness class in which the near expired food and water is used for employees to taste. You won’t just put those emergency rations to use, you will also help your staff become comfortable with the idea of utilizing the items and dispel any myth on how they taste.
Feel free to contact us for free introductory training materials