Velveeta cheese is a beloved cheese product across the whole country. It’s typically used for mac and cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches, but it can be used for so much more.
For beginners in the kitchen, we’ll start off by explaining what Velveeta is. Velveeta is a brand name recipe cheese product, or a processed cheese product, made by Kraft Foods. It’s not a real cheese per se, it’s a processed variant that melts better than regular cheese, resulting in a smooth, velvet-like texture.
It tastes like American cheese but it melts clump-free. There are a few more differences between Velveeta and regular cheese, which will be mentioned further in the article.
Either way, cooking with Velveeta is convenient and it makes food taste great. That is why this cheese product is very popular even outside the US.
So, if you’ve only started buying and using Velveeta, you’re probably wondering how long it lasts, how to store the cheese, and how to check if it’s gone bad. Read on to find out all these things, and more!
Does Velveeta Cheese Go Bad?
Velveeta cheese is an important ingredient for many dishes. It gives dishes a better texture and a fuller taste. Even the thought of having to throw out Velveeta is so sad. So, can it go bad?
Velveeta cheese can go bad, actually. It has a rather long shelf life because it’s pasteurized. Pasteurization is a process in which the product is partially sterilized, or heat-treated to prolong the quality and shelf life of the product.
However, pasteurization doesn’t do miracles. Velveeta still has a high milk content which is bound to go sour at some point.
To make sure your Velveeta cheese doesn’t go bad when you need it most, follow the instructions on the label and the advice below. Proper storage and care of your cheese product will make sure that it does not go bad anytime soon!
How Long Does Velveeta Last?
Velveeta is a processed cheese product with added preservatives. That means Velveeta can last a longer period of time without going putrid.
This cheese product has a best-by date printed on the side. A best-by date means that the company can guarantee the same quality up to the date on the label. However, the product doesn’t inherently go bad after that date. It can lose some of the qualities, but it’s still perfectly fine for consumption.
Kraft Foods’ bestseller has a shelf life of 6 months after the date of production if stored unopened. However, there is some wiggle room, because of added preservatives. Use it within 2 to 3 weeks after the six months mark for the best results.
When opened, Velveeta is good for another 8 weeks, provided you keep it as prescribed. Don’t be too worried about the cheese going bad – it’s not going to happen in a matter of a day or two. Processed products gradually lose quality until they finally go off. Use it as long as you find the taste and quality satisfying.
Always check the wellness of your Velveeta before you add it to meals. A cheese product gone bad can make your food taste awful, and spoil your stomach too.
How To Store Velveeta Cheese
Velveeta cheese is a unique cheese product when it comes to storage. In the supermarket, you can often find Velveeta in the regular aisles and not in the refrigerated area.
Velveeta is a processed, pasteurized cheese product that is not easy to spoil compared to regular cheeses. However, proper storage will make sure you get the most out of your Velveeta.
Firstly, the best place to store the cheese for your mac is a cool, dark place. A pantry is best – provided you keep it away from any heat sources like an air vent, radiator, or heater. Make sure the pantry has no humidity, and your cheese is fine.
When opened, Velveeta should be stored in the refrigerator exclusively. If you plan to use it within a day or two, it can probably stay out of the fridge, but why risk it? The quality is bound to degrade much faster at room temperature.
Wrap the cheese product completely after use and store it in the fridge. For wrapping, you can use the original packaging or a freezer bag – it’s good either way.
What is important is that you wrap the cheese entirely, because it will harden when exposed to the cold air inside the fridge. If your cheese hardens on one side, don’t panic and throw out the whole thing. Velveeta is still fine to eat – we promise. It will melt all the same when placed in the pot. If you feel it looks unsightly, just cut off the hard part and use the rest.
Lastly, freezing Velveeta is something Kraft Foods advises against. Freezing cheese can affect the texture and break down the ingredients.
But, if you bought too much Velveeta and there is no way you can use it all before it expires, we recommend freezing it. It will most likely still be good for mac and cheese or grilled sandwiches.
Don’t just place the package in the freezer. Remove it from the original wrap, and wrap it in aluminum foil or double wrap. If the cheese product is going to stay in the freezer for longer periods of time, double wrap it. Then place the cheese inside a freezer bag, push the air out and seal it tightly. When you take the product out of the freezer, leave it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.
How To Check If Velveeta Has Gone Bad
Velveeta is a heavily processed cheese product, with added preservatives to prolong its wellness. While this cheese definitely has a longer shelf life compared to other cheeses, it can still go bad and give you a stomachache as a result.
If the best-by date or the six months mark past the production date, is approaching – take a few moments to examine the cheese before including it in your meal.
Fresh Velveeta cheese has a pale yellow color and it’s very soft to the touch. To make sure your Velveeta is still fresh, open the packaging, and look at the cheese.
If you can spot mold, the cheese has obviously gone bad. The same thing applies if you can spot discolorations on the surface. Velveeta is not likely to be moldy because of pasteurization, but if it gets mold or mildew on top, it’s time to throw it out.
The next step is checking the texture. Velveeta cheese product is usually very soft, even squishy. If the texture is watery, the cheese is not safe for consumption anymore. And if there is a side of the cheese that is hard and kind of dried out, it’s still safe for use.
As previously mentioned, hardened or dry parts of the cheese are nothing to be alarmed about – they are just a sign of inadequate storage. If you don’t feel like putting them in the dish, cut them off, and use the rest of Velveeta cheese.
The next step is doing a sniff test. Velveeta has a subtle smell when fresh, so any unpleasant smells are a warning sign – discard this cheese product. If the cheese smells up to date take a small bite. If it tastes fine, it’s safe to put in the dish!
How Long Does Velveeta Last – Conclusion
Velveeta is a processed cheese product. That said, it has a rather long shelf life, provided you keep it in proper storage. Follow the instructions given in this article and on the label, and your Velveeta should be fine when you need it.
Do keep in mind that the shelf life of unopened Velveeta is around six months past the production date, few weeks give or take. Store the cheese in the pantry or a cool and dry place. When you do open it, store it in the refrigerator and use it up within eight weeks.
Additionally, if your Velveeta cheese looks suspicious, do a wellness check before you start cooking with it. Open the wrap and look for mold or discolorations. If there are none, it’s time for the next step – smelling the cheese. A musty smell is a sign that the cheese is no longer good for consumption and should be discarded.
On the other hand, if the cheese passes the sniff test, take a small bite to further make sure it’s good to use. If your Velveeta looks, smells and tastes fine, there is nothing else left to do but to eat it! Bon appetit!