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Does Kraft Mac and Cheese Expire or Go Bad? [Explained]

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Mac and Cheese is a typical staple food available in all American Households. When we think about Mac and Cheese, all that comes to mind is the Kraft Mac and Cheese. Most households always have a stash of Kraft Mac and Cheese. Whether we use it or not, the stash is always there.

While Kraft Mac and Cheese is a staple food, Does Kraft Mac and Cheese Expire? In this article, we shall discuss the storage and expiration of Kraft Mac and Cheese. Let us get started.

Does Kraft Mac and Cheese Expire?

Yes. like every Food Product, kraft mac and cheese also has an expiry date. The expiry date is mentioned on the product cover of Kraft Mac and Cheese.

It is important to note that the expiry date indicates freshness and does not make the product inedible. The quality of an unopened box of Kraft Mac and Cheese will not deteriorate.

If you store an unopened box of Kraft Mac and Cheese properly, it can keep up the freshness for up to two years. 

Does Kraft Mac and Cheese Go bad?

Yes. If the Kraft Mac and Cheese box or seal is opened, you need to check if moisture has taken its role and made the pasta soggy and moldy.

The dry Kraft Mac and Cheese, which is open, is unlikely to go bad. The cheese and sauce powder might lack freshness. You need to check the Cache before using them. 

How to tell if Kraft Mac and Cheese Has Gone Bad?

When you cook the Kraft Mac and Cheese and do not use it within the appropriate time, or if you fail to store them properly, they will surely go bad. Here is how you can identify that the Kraft Mac and Cheese has gone bad after cooking.

  • You will get an unpleasant smell and odor from the food. You will notice changes in the color of the food and the rotten smell. You may also notice mold formation on the surface of the food.
  • If you break the seal of the pasta and leave it open, the risk of getting spoilt is higher. You may notice that the pasta has become soggy and soft and formed molds. 
  • The additional flavor and sauce packets have a separate “best before” date. If you fail to use them before the given period, they may start losing their flavors and begin to taste bad. 

Read also the article on Can I Use Neufchatel Cheese For Cheesecake.

7 Signs that Mac and Cheese is Expired

Now that we know how to identify that Mac and Cheese have gone bad, look for the following signs to identify if Mac and Cheese have expired.

1. Stinky Mac and Cheese

If your Mac and Cheese have expired, you will notice a foul smell from the food, which indicates expired food. 

2. Mushy Pasta or Macaroni

You may choose to freeze and reheat the food. While it is expected, reheating may sometimes make the moisture in the food dry out and make the macaroni or pasta mushier. If you notice mushy macaroni, it is time to dump the Mac and Cheese.

3. Rotten Cheese

If you notice a rotten smell from the cheese in the mac and cheese, it certainly means that the Mac and Cheese have expired.

4. Changes in the Color

The discoloration is likely to happen when you fail to freeze the Mac and Cheese in an airtight container.

The other food stored and the fluctuating temperature in the fridge might result in changes in color and spoil the Mac and Cheese.

5. Mold

Mold formation is one of the common indicators of expired Mac and Cheese. It usually happens when you leave the Mac and Cheese in the fridge and leave it untouched for 3 to 4 days. You may notice mold covering the surface of the Mac and Cheese.

6. Watery Texture

The texture of Mac and Cheese will likely change when you freeze and reheat it. But, if you find them to be watery, dump them right away.

Read also our article on What to Do If Pudding Gets Watery in the Fridge

7. Moist Cheese Powder

If you notice that the cheese powder in the packet is moist and lumpy, it means they have gone bad. Better throw them away.

Can You Eat Expired Mac and Cheese?

Yes. As far as they are sealed and unopened, you can still eat the expired Mac and Cheese. But check the cheese powder. If you find them lumpy and moist, you should probably throw them away.

What happens if you eat expired Kraft Mac and Cheese?

Well, nothing would happen. But, it is essential to check for the freshness of the ingredients before cooking. A person cannot eat stinky and moldy Mac and Cheese. So, nothing would happen if you consumed the Mac and Cheese without contamination.

How Long After The Expiration Date are Mac and Cheese suitable?

Mac and Cheese can be used for two to three years past their expiration date if left unopened or appropriately sealed. However, you need to check the freshness of the cheese and sauce powder before using them.

Can You Put Mac and Cheese in the Refridgerator?

It is always recommended to keep the Kraft Mac and Cheese in the pantry or cupboard rather than in the refrigerator.

Keeping an unopened box of Mac and Cheese in the fridge will not bring them any additional benefits.

Further, if the box is opened or not sealed properly, the moisture in the fridge may enter the box, making the macaroni soggy and moldy.

Here is a video on how to properly cook Kraft mac and Cheese

How to store Kraft Mac and Cheese properly?

Storage is the key to longer shelf life. It is very accurate that an unopened Kraft Mac and Cheese can be used up to two years post the expiry date. But, it does not mean you can just leave them untouched and come back after two years.

They have the sauce or the cheese powders, which might not retain the freshness for two years.

You need to ensure that they are stored properly in the fridge. Leave them unopened and store them in the fridge.

If you open them, transfer the contents into an airtight container and store them in the fridge. Make sure to use them as early as possible.

Avoid moving the container to different temperatures, as this may spoil them quickly.

Can You Freeze Kraft Mac and Cheese?

Yes. You can freeze the Kraft Mac and Cheese. Make sure to bring them to room temperature before freezing. Ensure to thaw them entirely to room temperature before reheating.

Interesting further reading – Can You Freeze Blue Cheese | Can You Freeze American Cheese | Can You Freeze Pimento Cheese

Is it Okay to put Kraft Mac and Cheese in the freezer?

Yes. Putting the Kraft Mac and Cheese in the freezer is okay once you have cooked them. It is important to note that the cheese sauce powder might contain dairy ingredients.

You can cook the cheese with powder and water instead of milk. This will prevent the sauce from breaking down while reheating. 

If you still prefer to use milk, make sure to thaw them completely before reheating. Give a good stir before eating.

Is it Okay to put Kraft Mac and Cheese in the fridge?

Yes. Putting the cooked Kraft Mac and Cheese in the Fridge is okay. It will help increase the shelf life. But, ensure that you use them within 3 to 5 days.

How Long is Kraft Mac and Cheese good for?

The Kraft Mac and Cheese can be used for up to two years if left unopened and sealed appropriately.

Conclusion

Kraft Mac and cheese is our comfort food and the best easy-to-go cooking partner. Next time you are confused about purchasing the giant box, go for it.

You can store them and reuse them for more than two years.

Happy Cooking!