How Long Does Velveeta Cheese Last? Can It Go Bad?
Velveeta is one of those products that pop into our minds whenever someone mentions ‘melted cheese’ or ‘casserole.’ However, if you have never bought Velveeta cheese in your life, the question of whether it goes bad is one that needs immediate answers.
Velveeta is a processed cheese and not cheese in the technical sense of the word. However, since most people are already used to calling it cheese, let’s play along. It is much easier than calling it a ‘recipe cheese product’ every time we mention it.
If you are just now buying Velveeta cheese or have never kept it long enough to see it go bad, you may wonder, ‘how long after I open this will it go bad? How should I store it to make sure that it does not go bad?’
Well, you came to the right place. In the following paragraphs, we will talk about this cheese, how it goes bad, and how you should store it to prolong its shelf life.
How Should You Store Velveeta Cheese?
Unlike the ‘real’ cheeses like Brie or Parmesan, when the Velveeta cheese is unopened, there is no need to freeze it. You will often find it sold in blocks or slices since it is very stable on a shelf. You will most likely find it in the non-refrigerated section of a supermarket.
After you buy the cheese, you can store it at room temperature, and it will be perfectly fine in the packaging used by Kraft Foods to cover it.
The one thing you have to watch out for is that you do not put it anywhere damp or wet. The cheese should be stored in a cool and dry place away from heat sources, for obvious reasons. The best way to use the cheese is to melt it yourself when making a sauce or cheese dip.
Finding it partially melted within the package is not desirable.
Once you open it, however, the tune changes a little bit. Now, you have to resort to the refrigerator to keep it in good shape.
The most important thing you should keep in mind when storing Velveeta cheese in the fridge is that it has to be sealed to prevent it from losing the water it comes with when you buy it. In a fridge, the cheese may harden because of drying out. A good seal will keep any strong scents from the refrigerator away.
If you cannot seal the original packaging tightly before storing the cheese in a fridge, you should consider putting it in a sealable bag or an airtight container. Both options should get the job done.
Is It Possible to Store Velveeta Cheese in a Freezer?
The freezer operates at temperatures much lower than a regular fridge. So, should you freeze your cheese? The manufacturer says no. Even though Velveeta has quite a long shelf life, you might buy too much and start thinking, ‘I should probably freeze this.’
The manufacturer says that there will be a change in texture, and some of the ingredients will break down in the freezing conditions.
However, if you are faced with the prospect of throwing away your cheese or freezing it? Why not freeze it. If you do the storing well, the changes should be negligible enough that the cheese doesn’t lose too much of what makes it what we love.
You should be able to thaw it out after freezing it for some grilled sandwiches or mac and cheese.
How Would You Give Velveeta a Chance To Survive The Freezer?
What you want to do is remove the cheese from the original wrapping. Then, wrap it in aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or cling wrap. If you are going to sit the cheese in the freezer for a long time, add some more wrap to make it a double layer of packaging.
Then, put the wrapped Velveeta cheese in a bag, squeeze out the air, and seal the bag tightly.
Pro Tip: When thawing out the Velveeta cheese, make sure that you do it in a regular fridge overnight.
How Long Can You Keep Velveeta Cheese?
The cheese is more of a processed cheese product, as we mentioned previously. It contains preservatives, which give it a rather long shelf life than it would have. Velveeta cheese can keep for up to 6 months unopened after the production date.
However, always check to see if there is a use-by date on the packaging. Even then, you should not take this date too seriously, as the presence of preservatives means it will be good for a few weeks past the data.
All of this is provided that you store it in the best place.
The quality of Velveeta cheese will keep for about eight weeks after it’s been opened. Always check the label to ensure that you have all the information because sometimes, the time can vary.
Here is a summary of how long the Velveeta cheese can keep:
- Unopened, it will stay until it hits the ‘use-by’ date plus 2 to 3 weeks in the pantry.
- Opened, it will keep for eight weeks in a fridge.
These times indicated are estimates. You should know what cheese looks like when it has gone bad, so you do not consume it. This brings us to the next segment of our article…
How Do You Know When Velveeta Cheese Has Gone Bad?
Mold is the first thing you will see to indicate that the cheese is gone. The fresh Velveeta cheese is typically a creamy, yellow color. It is also soft and mushy in terms of consistency. Most often, when trying to tell if food has gone bad, we look at four things:
- The smell
- The color
- The flavor
- The appearance
If it looks, smells, feels, or tastes awful or different from what you are used to, then you should probably not eat that cheese.
Remember the estimates we provided above? If the cheese has stayed longer than those times, then it is probably done. You should throw it out, to be safe.
If the cheese is dried out on some parts, you can cut them off and be left with the rest. Poor storage methods cause the drying up. Ensure that you keep the cheese in a sealed container or bag to make sure that it does not get exposed to the air.
The sniff test is particularly easy. Velveeta has a subtle smell when it is fresh. If it suddenly develops strong odors, you should throw it out.
The sniff test is the preamble before you do a taste test. If it smells okay, a nibble won’t hurt you. If the nibble test is A-OK, then you can eat that cheese.
What Is the Difference Between Velveeta And Regular Cheese?
All cheese starts as milk. The makers of cheese leave the milk to thicken and form a curd layer that sits at the top of the milk container. The process separated the liquid in milk (known as whey) and the solid component (curd).
The milk usually has casein protein, some milk fat, and some water.
The milk is separated from the whey components and then is processed by heating and pressing. After that, salt is added, and any of the remaining whey is drained off before the cheeses are cut into blocks.
The final product is then cured to ripen it. Once they deem it mature, they ship it out. The maturation process involves some kinds of bacteria and fungi (they’re molds).
Emil Frey comes in
Because cheese would break often and take shapes that consumers did not like, a Swiss immigrant named Emil Frey combines the broken leftover cheese pieces with the whey from the cheese-making process, and Velveeta was invented.
This process gives the cheese its velvety feel and is the reason it does not melt in clumps.
The old method has been replaced by a different one where the factories use whey protein concentrate and milk protein.
The FDA gets involved
In 2002, the FDA realized that the ingredients in Velveeta no longer contained any actual cheese.
So, they told Kraft to change the packaging to reflect that the Velveeta wasn’t actually a cheese spread but rather something else. So, they now label it as ‘pasteurized prepared cheese product.’
As it contains more colorings and preservatives than cheese, the product cannot be called cheese. Even the ingredient list is different, making the product less organic and more ‘Frankenstein,’ but hey, it is delicious!
Does Velveeta cheese get moldy easily?
Actually, no. It is not easy to see mold growing on Velveeta cheese. The preservatives and it’s ‘not quite a cheese’ constitution means that to get mold, it has to have gone bad and, in that case, you need to chuck it.
How many types of Velveeta are there?
There are several types and flavors. We have Velveeta Dip Cups, Velveeta Light Prepared Cheese Product, Velveeta Mexican, Velveeta Shredded, Velveeta Shells and Cheese, Slices, among others.
Is Velveeta Kosher?
It could be an ingredient or the manufacturing process, but somewhere in the processing method, something happens that deems Velveeta ‘not Kosher.’