September 24, 2015


Action Meals Self-Heating Meals

Ideal for feeding staff and clients when utilities or services are reduced (e.g. power outage) or staff shortages due to a pandemic, terrorist attack or other emergency

Can I use ACTION MEAL ® anywhere?

Yes! But always use in a well-ventilated area because there are minute amounts of hydrogen given off with the steam. Hydrogen displaces oxygen.

Will there be other recipes available?

Yes! we introduce new recipes periodically.

Are these the same menus as HOTPACK meals?

Yes ! They are the same delicious food prepared in the same way, however the new slim Action Meals packaging encloses the meal and a heater in a polyethylene sack, dispensing with the cardboard box, plate, spoon and water sack which many customers found cumbersome and bulky to carry in and out of remote sites. The Action Meal pack is designed to minimize waste and disappear into a pocket or pack until needed.

Can I store this package anywhere?

In a dry area and at normal room temperature. Do not crush the box as you could damage the food pouch

Could I keep this pack in my car for emergencies?

Definitely! But be aware that extremes in temperature are to be avoided. Avoid frequent freezing and thawing for the same reasons. For example, the inside of a car in summer can reach +33C (+87F). Such a high temperature could affect the consistency of the meal over a long period, though its safety and flavour remain unchanged.

No bacteria would enter the pouch but the frequent thawing and heat activate enzymes present in the food itself.

Do I open the food pouch before I add it to the sleeve?

No! Definitely not.

When I was out in the cold and I activated the heater as shown, I noticed that the food did not heat up as much as when I tried the same process in the house. Why?

The meal will reach 80C (178F) from ambient temperature. When the food is stored in a very cold area, you might consider placing it between layers of clothes to keep it protected from the elements or, if you are outdoors, place it inside your jacket 30 minutes or so prior to activating the heater.

If the food is frozen, it is best to use a heater to defrost and another to heat the meal. Individual heaters can be purchased separately. Contact Action Meal ® for information.

Are there any toxic elements to the product?


Who uses Action Meals Self-Heating Meals?

The question today is who does not use it.  A few examples of Canadian users follow:

  • Emergency Plans offices/ Ministries of Public Safety:  Emergency stockpiles in PEI, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, etc
  • Ministries of  Natural Resources (Forest Fire/Parks) such as Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, etc.
  • Ministries of  Correctional Services (Detention Centres/ Prisons)  such as  Ontario, Québec, etc. for Pandemic planning
  • Hospitals such as Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene for Pandemic planning  and for operational continuity planning to feed  staff and patients
  • CCG (Canadian Coast Guard)  mainly for Search and Rescue in small vessels such as those used during the Swissair disaster in 1998.
  • R.C.M.P. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) for operations in the field including patrolling in remote areas, snowmobile tracking, tactical, covert operations, special events (parades, etc.), search and rescue and so on.
  • Police Detachments  in police station for prisoner feeding, tactical/emergency response, covert operations, etc.
  • Fire Departments  for on-site crew feeding. 
  • O.P.P. (Ontario Provincial Police)  for various police activities as mentioned above.
  • SAR (Search and Rescue) groups  for feeding of participants as well as victims.
  • EP (Emergency Preparedness) Groups  for emergency feeding.(i.e. York Region)
  • Companies  such as Utilities, Transport, Road Repair Crews, Logging, Mining, etc.
  • Financial Corporations  for emergency feeding (i.e. Standard and Poors)
  • Survival Companies  to include in survival kits.
  • Sports Enthusiasts  (Fishing, Hunting, Climbing, Skiing, Snowmobiling, Boating, Sailing, etc.)  

When was the product introduced in Canada?

A Canadian company called Canland introduced the concept and product in Canada in October 1995.  It was incorporated as Hot Pack Enterprises and was purchased in 2004 and is now known as Action Meals ® Inc.

The heater is a recent technology (designed for Desert Storm), and is used extensively by the American and Canadian  militaries.

I am currently using dehydrated foods.  What are the advantages for me to switch to a selfheating meal?

You do not need electricity ( in case of a black-out), nor fire, nor even a pot with boiling water to have a hot, delicious meal.

Consider this scenario: You are backpacking at high altitudes.  It is a known fact that at higher altitudes, oxygen is less.  Let us say that you are at 6,000 feet or more.  Often, climbers find that they have lost their appetite (less oxygen goes to the brain and stomach and you do not feel like eating) and it is more difficult to cook (a stove does not function very efficiently because fire needs oxygen and there is less of it).  Both problems arise from a decrease in atmospheric pressure.  You know you need to eat to build up your energy.  It takes only a few moments to activate Action Meals selfheating meals and the heater does not need any oxygen to work efficiently.

So keeping in mind that the higher the altitude, the less oxygen there is and more problems occur, wouldn’t it follow that you should have Action Meal with you?

Here’s another view in time: You have planned a fantastic hiking trip in one of the most incredible parks.  When you arrive, there is a ban on starting fires because of the high risk of forest fires.  With Action Meals,  you can have a hot meal ANYWHERE! ANYTIME!

 N.B. The higher the altitudes

  1. The lower the atmospheric pressure.
  2. Water boils at a lower temperature, but never gets particularly hot.
  3. Fire needs oxygen to work efficiently and there is less of it.
  4. It takes more fuel for cooking and more time to get food ready.
  5. You lose your appetite and do not feel like cooking.  A real danger.

Are the meals available without the heaters?

In Canada, the meals, in pouches only, are now  available at some retail outlets.  Arrangements can be made for groups who are interested in obtaining the meals in bulk.

In the USA, at the present time, the meals are available only in a complete Action Meals kit.  If the demand warrants it, we could work on a special packaging to allow it to be sold as a meal only.

Are Action Meals selfheating meals available in other countries?

In September 1996, it was introduced in the UK.  The concept and the name are the same but because of government regulations on meat products; the food is manufactured in England.

In April 1997, the product was launched in the United States.  The product is made in Canada and has received USDA approval (FDA deal with non-meat products, USDA deal with meat-based products).

In September 1998, Action Meals was launched in Australia and New Zealand.

Many countries are interested in this unique product.  Availability in other countries is dependent on the regulations regarding exporting food items to these countries.

What are special circumstances that would benefit a person in using Action Meals?

  • Your institution is having trouble with utilities services and staff shortages due to a pandemic or power outage
  • You are in one of the major parks and there is a fire hazard warning.
  • You want to camp and have a hot meal but are not allowed to start any fire.
  • You are in a sailboat going on a long journey and you have the night watch.  You are hungry and cold.
  • You are fishing in a great spot and do not wish to move but hunger pangs are making concentration very difficult.
  • Every home should have an emergency supply for power outages during storms, etc.
  • Snowmobiling – No restaurants on the trails, etc.

Its use is limited only by one’s imagination!