Even though Velveeta is not real cheese but a brand name, most people use this term for it. Basically, this product is a processed or so-called recipe cheese.
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When Kraft Foods made it for the first time, its name described the beautiful and smooth velvety product texture. Now, it is time to discover does Velveeta cheese go bad and how long does Velveeta cheese last. Let’s see.
Does Velveeta Cheese Go Bad?
Unlike other cheeses you can find on the market, Velveeta cheese is a well-processed, heat-treated, and pasteurized milk product. However, it can’t last forever and will become spoiled eventually like any other cheese. The first sign of spoilage is discoloration, and then it turns into a solid piece with a changed texture.
Even though it will smell bad, you will rarely see any mold on its surface, making this product different from other cheeses. In most cases, cheese parts are not edible anymore after drying out. It is a gradual process and always a result of inadequate wrapping.
How Long Does Velveeta Cheese Last?
Velveeta cheese is a product made of pasteurized milk heated at 150 F (65.5 C). During that process, it becomes free of harmful bacteria that can compromise your health. Plus, added preservatives significantly prolong this cheese lifespan.
Even fresh unopened Velveeta cheese can go bad, but it won’t happen quickly. In general, this product has a long life span, and you can use it fearlessly for approximately half a year from the packaging date. Since it contains many preservatives, you don’t need to store it in the fridge!
You can expect the first signs of spoilage only after this period when its quality and freshness start decreasing gradually. Once opened, Velveeta cheese will be edible for at least two months when stored appropriately in the fridge. Take care to wrap it correctly to prevent direct contact with air.
Velveeta cheese shelf life
|Unopened||2 to 3 weeks||/|
|2 to 3 days||2 months|
Always read the best-by date printed on the label before using this cheese. Usually, the product will be usable even a few weeks after that moment, but you need to check its quality before eating. The best solution is to throw it away if you are not sure about the quality.
5 Tips to Tell if Velveeta Cheese Has Gone Bad
Even though the manufacturer always prints the product’s best-by date on the label, it will lose quality over time. As I have already mentioned, you can usually use Velveeta cheese much longer after checking a few primary features before consuming it.
These signs can show you whether your grocery is still edible:
Velveeta cheese is a recognizably pale yellowish product. As soon as this color changes, it is time to throw the product away.
You have already known that Velveeta’s smell is subtle. An unpleasant odor is always a warning sign when it comes to any cheese, including Velveeta. In fact, any change in smell means your Velveeta cheese is spoiled and inedible.
If you keep Velveeta cheese for too long, its taste will worsen over time. Any taste different than the one you are used to is wrong, so you shouldn’t consume such a product.
Velveeta cheese has a soft, mushy consistency. Once the texture becomes watery, the product is not safe to consume. On the other hand, dried and hardened areas result from inadequate storage.
Basically, such cheese is safe for eating, but its quality is compromised. If you spot such a change, cut off the dried-out part and keep using the rest without any worry.
Since this cheese type underwent pasteurization and contains a bunch of preservatives, it is not likely to see mold growing on its surface. If you notice such a thing, don’t hesitate for a second because the product is for garbage only.
4 Tips to Store Velveeta Cheese
Unlike natural cheeses, an unopened Velveeta cheese pack has a unique storage system. Since this product is pasteurized, it doesn’t require refrigeration whether you buy it in blocks or slices. You can safely store it in a few ways:
It is reasonable enough to store Velveeta cheese in original packaging at room temperature, and expect it to maintain the quality for a long. Make sure to keep it away from heat and moisture.
Sitting on the countertop away from an oven and sink is always an acceptable solution. Since it is shelf-stable, its consistency will stay the same, and your cheese prepared for use at any time.
If you have a too hot kitchen or the temperatures there fluctuate too often, the better option for storing Velveeta is to place it in a pantry. It is usually a cold and dark place, making it an ideal choice for this purpose.
If you haven’t had any other recommended option, you can store even an unopened Velveeta cheese in the fridge when necessary. On the other hand, once you open the packaging, you should refrigerate its leftovers.
The crucial thing is to seal the product thoroughly before refrigerating. Letting the opened product at low temperatures always results in drying and hardening the edge parts. Another problem is that this product is prone to take on the smells of the surrounding food.
Since you can’t seal the original packaging, the best solution is to put opened Velveeta in a freezer bag or even an airtight container. Then, you should store it in the fridge where it will keep its quality for up to two months.
Some people like mixing Velveeta cheese with Rotel. In such a case, this product can keep its quality for approximately 5 to 7days. Any combination with quickly expiring foods or meat will stay edible for at least 2 to 4 days.
The manufacturer Kraft Foods recommends avoiding freezing Velveeta cheese. On the other hand, many consumers buy larger quantities of this product at once. It is expected since the product price is significantly lower when buying a more considerable amount.
It is possible freezing this food, but the crucial thing is to seal it appropriately. Never keep Velveeta in the original packaging when placing it in the freezer. A better option is to put it in a freezer bag before storing it this way.
When you need Velveeta for cooking, it will be enough to move the product into the fridge and let it thaw overnight. Unfortunately, its texture will probably change, making the using options pretty limited.
The Risk of Consuming an Expired Velveeta Cheese
Velveeta is not legally cheese but a cheese product prepared by pasteurization. It was created in the 1900s to solve the Monroe Cheese Company’s problem with misshapen Swiss cheese.
The average product’s shelf life is 210 days because most of its ingredients are artificial, and its ingredient list is a bit scary:Milk, whey, and waterMilk and whey protein concentrateMilk fatCheese culture2% of saltAnnattoSodium and calcium phosphateSorbic and lactic acidSodium citrate and alginateEnzymesColor apocarotenal
Velveeta has 9.3% lactose, which is bad news for lactose-intolerant people. It is an engineered and manipulated product pumped with preservatives and enormous calorie, fat, and cholesterol content.
All that considered, you could conclude how harmful this product can be for your body.
Eating processed food containing high salt levels will increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. It is estimated that consuming more than four servings of processed food a day increases the possibility of death by 62%.
Can You Freeze Velveeta Cheese?
Freezing is not an excellent solution for keeping Velveeta cheese under any circumstances. Even the producer doesn’t recommend this way of storing. The reasons are changing its texture and destroying primary ingredients after exposing the product to low temperatures.
However, these changes are not severe, and you can still use such cheese for making a grilled sandwich.
If you decide to try saving this cheese this way, you should remove it from the original packaging. It can’t protect Velveeta cheese since it is not sufficient for storing in the freezer. Then, double wrap the product in cling wrap, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil.
After placing it in a freezer bag and squeezing out the air, you should seal the bag tight before putting the package in the freezer. This way, you can store this product for approximately six months.
Once you decide to thaw your cheese, let it sit at room temperature overnight. Never refreeze it. Sometimes, you will notice a grainy or mushy texture, changing taste, or water forming over its surface after thawing. It’s up to you to decide whether to consume a product like this.
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Velveeta cheese is a pasteurized milk product with enough preservatives to enable a long shelf life when stored appropriately. Always keep an unopened product in the pantry and place open packaging in the freezer. You can even freeze this cheese in some cases, but it will affect its quality and taste.