QUANTICO, Va. — The Pentagon on Wednesday issued an emergency recall of more than 750,000 Meals, Ready to Eat after it was discovered the rations had been contaminated with real turkey.
"Shredded Tryptophan-Induced Poultry Product in Gravy Sauce," deemed item 12 in the latest batch of MREs shipped across the globe last week, was found to contain "an almost 100% contamination rate" among the boxes shipped out across the military.
"We can't just allow our service men and women to be exposed to such harmful substances," Army Col. James McDoughery said. "I mean, it's one thing to inhale a cubic pound of 7-ton exhaust every day or to have abnormal amounts of diesel fuel in a unit’s water supply from time to time. But the kind of damage it would cause if troops suddenly started eating actual food in the field could be catastrophic."
He added: "They might find they have morale. And if they ever found it, they would realize just how low it’s been all these years.”
The recall for Thanksgiving MREs is not a first for the DoD. It previously had to recall humanitarian rations containing pork over concerns for the Islamic religion in 2006. Its "Country Captain Chicken" MRE was phased out after most troops complained of it tasting more like urban lieutenant dog****.
Most troops were unfazed by the recall decision.
"Look, sometimes I just put the hot sauce on the cardboard box and eat that because it tastes better than the meal inside," Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Eckerd said. "Plus, the fiber helps keep you regular, and after a week of MREs, you use all the help you can get."
Still, at least one Marine managed to get his hands on the dangerous MRE in question. Lance Cpl. Anthony Smith found an untouched box while on a field exercise in Camp Lejeune.
"Inside was the brand new Thanksgiving MRE with all the bowel-clogging trimmings; garlic mashed potatoes, wheat snack bread, peanut butter," Smith said. "And then there it was: The Shredded Tryptophan-Induced Poultry Product in Gravy Sauce main meal. I took about three bites and was really surprised by how unplasticky it tasted."
"It was right then that my company gunny suddenly returned. By the time my ass-chewing was over, someone had stolen it. The only thing left was the Cornbread Stuffing, and there's not enough Copenhagen dip in the world to be bribed with to make me eat that."
The Pentagon promised that it would never again make the mistake of having real food contaminate MREs again.