Ah, the liquid gold. So soft, smooth. Could America’s favorite homemade dinner, Mac & Cheese, be any good without Velveeta? What’s more, it seems like Velveeta Cheese lasts forever, even when it’s not stocked in the refrigerator. But hold on. Does it really not go bad?
Eventually, even fresh unopened Velveeta Cheese will go bad. But. Don’t panic yet; it has an average life span of 6 whole months from the packaging date, without being refrigerated. After this period, it lessens in quality (freshness) and may gradually start to go bad. Where it has been opened, Velveeta can stay up to 8 weeks in the refrigerator without degrading in quality. So yes, everything does go bad, including the infamous Velveeta.
Does Velveeta Cheese go Bad? How Long Does it Last?
We established earlier, that Velveeta cheese can go bad. But like any processed or pasteurized cheese, it has a very high shelf life.
How Long Does Velveeta Cheese Last Outside?
It’s not uncommon to wonder, while walking the Grocery store, why Velveeta is not usually refrigerated. Well, it’s simple; this cheese is both processed and pasteurized, resulting in a high shelf life – up to 6 months on average.
Pasteurized cheese is made from pasteurized milk. This refers to milk heated at about 149°F. Through this process, harmful (pathogenic) bacteria are killed, hence boosting the life span of the product. Processed cheese is one in which preservatives, among other ingredients which are not normally found in cheese, are added. Put together, these refining processes give sealed Velveeta its superpower. Where opened, it would not stay fresh for this long outside, especially if not properly packaged, as it may start to dry out.
How Long Does Velveeta Cheese Last in the Fridge?
You may be thinking, if Velveeta Cheese can last that long outside the fridge, how much more in it? Err, no. Once open, packed food gets exposed to bacteria, mold, dryness, and the like, which automatically cause a degradation in quality. A study has proven that Velveeta can maintain its quality for 8 weeks in the fridge, as long as it was properly packed. This is not bad if you ask me. So why is the Best by date reading more than 2 months, you may ask. Well, normally that’s the shelf life – it’s life length when it hasn’t been open yet. Meanwhile, if you choose to store it in the fridge unopened, you are good to go for 6 months still!
Well there you have it; a breakdown of the life span of your favorite cheese, both in and out of the fridge.
How to tell if Velveeta Cheese Has Gone Bad/How to Know if it is Fresh
Velveeta Cheese is not fond of calling attention to itself when spoiled. This does not mean it is immortal; can lose its quality if kept beyond the average time or not properly stored, whether or not it shows signs. Here are some clues to determine how fresh your cheese might be:
How Long Has it Been? If you can determine how long it has been stored up, you can determine how fresh your Cheese is. As stated in previous sections, Velveeta remains fresh for up to 6 months in room temperature (unrefrigerated), while it can stay fresh 8 weeks after being unsealed, so long as it is refrigerated.
What Temperature was it Stored in? The best temperature to keep your fresh unsealed Velveeta in is room temperature. Anything higher may cause a degradation faster than the average 6 months, so look out! According to Wikipedia, Room temperature is the average temperature that most people prefer indoors. In America, this is around 68-72°F. You can determine the temperature in your space by using a thermometer.
How does it Look, Smell, or Taste? Our senses never deceive us. Even if all other factors were checked and your Cheese still smells, looks, or tastes funny, discard it. More often than not, this doesn’t happen but it’s not a total impossibility. It could start to develop mold, or change color, especially when left out after being unsealed.
The Best By Date: Who better to know the life span of a product than its manufacturers? There is always a Best by date on the package so if you are looking for a fast and easy way to know if your Cheese is still good, simply check it. The Best by date refers to the shelf life of the product. Any consumption after that date is at your risk.
So with these, it would be easier to have an idea of the quality of your Velveeta before you start melting it for that Nachos!
How Best to Store Velveeta Cheese
Storing Velveeta Cheese is paramount to maintaining its quality. Here are some ideas to keep in mind when preserving your Velveeta:
Pantry: The warmth of a pantry is the best place to keep unopened Velveeta cheese. You can store as many as you want there, and not bother about its freshness for 6 months from the production date. When you open it, it will be as though you just took it right from the factory!
Fridge: It’s not a bad idea if you choose to keep it in the fridge, unopened or not. Simply bear in mind, the time frame discussed in earlier sections.
Room temperature: Always store your sealed Velveeta in room temperature. This maintains its quality better than any other.
Keep it Well Packed: Where the cheese hasn’t been opened, you don’t have to worry about its packaging. Avoid putting it in airtight containers though, simply put them on the shelf somewhere. Where it has been opened, try to put it in a Ziploc before keeping it in the fridge. Where melted, make sure it’s in a properly sealed container.
Don’t be in a rush to store your Velveeta; healthy storage keeps its quality maintained and you get to enjoy it better.
Can you Freeze Velveeta Cheese? Why Not?
The manufacturers of Velveeta, Kraft Foods, strongly advise against freezing Velveeta.
Why You Can’t Freeze Velveeta: According to Kraft Foods;
“…After freezing, crystals may form within the product which may make it grainy, or its texture to become mushy. Freezing can also break down the ingredients used to make the cheese. This may cause water to form on the surface of the product. Freezing can also negatively impact the flavor. Hope that helps!”
What then do I do with my Leftover Velveeta? You can refrigerate it. If you are scared of forgetting it in the fridge, Kraft Foods suggests converting it to something like Chicken Rotini. Here is the recipe http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=379449514655 For more of their Velveeta recipes, check their official page.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Life Span of Velveeta Cheese
Does Velveeta Cheese Spoil Faster than American Cheese? Velveeta cheese has a higher shelf life than American cheese because it is not just processed, but also pasteurized. While Velveeta can stay up to 6 months from production date outside a fridge, American Cheese is best refrigerated.
Is it Safe to Eat Velveeta Cheese After it Has Gone Bad? No. No food is safe to eat after it has gone bad; we strongly advise against it as this can be detrimental to your health. Get a fresh one, or forget about that craving.
Yes. I know you’ve been salivating so let’s wrap things up. If everything is properly checked, you are free to go ahead with that Nachos & Dip or Mac & Cheese. Remember to save some for next time and while at it, keep your packaging top-notch!