Working around Velveeta cheese can end up causing a big mess on your kitchen counter, especially if the recipe requires melting it. But at the end of the day, its unique taste and impeccable texture make it worth the extra effort.
Talking about efforts, one will have to go the extra mile to store Velveeta cheese as well as it tends to go bad in the absence of proper storage techniques. It must be noted that Velveeta cheese lasts for only 6 months without refrigeration.
But you can prevent your beloved cheese from going bad with the correct storage techniques. So, go through the following article to equip yourself with the correct knowledge.
How Long Velveeta Cheese Lasts – Its Shelf Life?
Velveeta Cheese is made using pasteurized milk heated at a temperature of 65.5 Degrees Celsius, and preservatives are added to it. So, all harmful bacteria are killed while processing, and the preservatives are added to prolong the shelf life of the Velveeta Cheese.
When unopened, the Velveeta Cheese maintains its quality for up to six months. The package comes with a use-by date printed on it, and users have to check it before using the cheese. Since it contains preservatives, Velveeta Cheese tends to last a couple of weeks more after the best-by date.
After opening the cheese, it keeps the quality for eight weeks, as per Kraft Foods. The best-by date is easily available on the package, and you have to check it before using it.
These are only the estimates. The shelf life varies depending on the room temperature and storage conditions.
Always read the best-by date before using the Velveeta Cheese. Usually, it is okay to use the cheese even a few weeks after the best-by date, provided the quality seems fine.
How to Know If Your Velveeta Cheese Has Gone Bad – Signs of Spoilage?
Even though the best-by date is mentioned on the package, the cheese loses its quality and flavor over time. As mentioned, it is okay to consume Velveeta Cheese even a few weeks after the use-by date. But, you must always check the signs of spoilage before consuming it.
Velveeta Cheese comes in a pale yellow color, and as it starts going rancid, the color changes to dark yellow. As soon as you see any changes in the color, discard them. It means the cheese has gone off.
Velveeta Cheese smells subtle, and any foul or unpleasant odor from the cheese is a warning sign. If you notice any changes in the smell of your Velveeta Cheese, it means the cheese has gone bad, and it is time to discard it.
If you use Velveeta Cheese occasionally and store it for a long duration, you will experience a taste change when you use it next time. Keeping the cheese for too long causes taste change, indicating that the cheese has gone off and you must not consume it.
Velveeta Cheese has a mushy and soft consistency, and as it goes rancid, the texture gradually gets watery. If you see such texture, avoid eating it. Besides, the hardened and dried areas of the cheese result from insufficient storage.
But, there is no harm in consuming such Velveeta Cheese, but you won’t experience the optimal quality.
As mentioned, Velveeta Cheese is prepared using pasteurized milk and contains many preservatives. So, there is no chance of any mold growth on the surface. But, if you still see any dark brown, green or black spots on the surface, it indicates mold growth and needs to be discarded.
What are the Risks of Consuming Velveeta Cheese After Expiry?
Velveeta Cheese is not technically a cheese but a processed cheese product made via Pasteurization.
The average lifespan of the product is six months, and it is because of the artificial ingredients used in preparing the cheese. You may have a look at the list of the ingredients.
Velveeta Cheese comprises 9.3% of lactose, proving harmful to people with lactose intolerance. Besides, Velveeta Cheese is a manipulated and customized product filled with higher calories, cholesterol, fat, and preservatives. So, consuming the product in excessive quantities may prove to be harmful to your well-being in the long run.
Since Velveeta Cheese comprises high salt levels, it can cause heart diseases and heightens the risk of stroke, especially if you eat above four servings of Velveeta Cheese in a day.
Is It Possible to Freeze Velveeta Cheese? Refrigerated Vs. Shelf Stable!
It is not a good choice to freeze your Velveeta Cheese. Even the manufacturer doesn’t suggest freezing their product. It is because freezing changes the texture of the Velveeta Cheese and causes damage to the ingredients after exposure to the low temperature of the freezer.
Fortunately, these changes are not severe, as you can still use the Velveeta Cheese for any grilled meals or sandwiches. But, if you still plan to save your Velveeta Cheese longer and keep it in the freezer, then follow the below tips.
Remove from the original package to keep your cheese protected because the original package cannot protect it in the freezer.
Transfer the portion into a plastic wrap, cling wrap, or aluminum foil
Squeeze the wrap to push out the extra air and seal the bag before putting it into the freezer
You must ensure freezing the Velveeta Cheese only for six months, and before thawing, leave the cheese at room temperature. Never refreeze the Velveeta Cheese.
Unlike other dairy products, an unopened package of Velveeta Cheese doesn’t need refrigeration. It is a shelf-stable product, and hence you will always see Velveeta Cheese on the supermarket’s shelves and not in the refrigerator. But, you must ensure that it is not kept close to any heat sources.
But, after opening the package of Velveeta Cheese, you must refrigerate it. But wrap the cheese properly before refrigerating to prevent it from drying and maintain its quality longer. But, before putting it into the fridge, cover it properly using a freezer bag.
An unopened package of Velveeta Cheese is always safe for storage in your pantry or kitchen cabinet without refrigeration. However, it is only suggested for the unopened package of Velveeta Cheese and not for the opened ones.
Storing the opened Velveeta Cheese in the pantry or kitchen cabinet would degrade its quality faster. So, if you intend to use the entire package of Velveeta Cheese in a couple of days, you may skip to fridge the package and store it in the pantry away from heat sources.
But, to save the package longer, you have to refrigerate it.
The Best Ways to Store Velveeta Cheese
Unlike natural cheese products, Velveeta Cheese has unique storage needs. Since Velveeta Cheese is a pasteurized and processed product, it needs no refrigeration when you buy it in slices or blocks. Because of the pasteurization process, spoilage of the Velveeta Cheese gets difficult. But, following healthy storage methods are important to keep the quality and taste of Velveeta Cheese longer.
Store in Cool, Dry, and Dark Places
As mentioned earlier, Velveeta Cheese must be kept in dry, cool, and dark places, both unopened or opened. Exposure to sunlight or other heat sources may ruin its quality and accelerate the degradation of the ingredients. So, it must be kept in places away from any heat sources and sunlight.
When storing it at room temperature, you must consider keeping the cheese in the original package. It helps maintain its quality longer. But, it must be away from moisture and heat sources.
Keep Velveeta Cheese Well Wrapped
Remember to wrap your Velveeta Cheese tightly before storing it to avoid exposure to heat and air. It may result in the hardening of the edges. So, ensure to keep the Velveeta Cheese well wrapped before refrigerating or freezing. Exposure to cold air is not good for the cheese as it gets hardened when exposed to cold air for a long duration.
Refrain from Freezing Velveeta Cheese
Freezing your Velveeta Cheese to keep its quality longer would affect its texture and quality. But, if it is the only option you have to save your Velveeta Cheese longer, freeze it carefully. You must transfer the cheese into an aluminum foil or freezer bag and ensure no extra air is there inside the bag before freezing.
Alternatives to Velveeta Cheese if it Goes Bad
In case your Velveeta cheese goes bad, you can try using the following substitutes:
- Swiss cheese
- Pepper jack
- Sharp cheddar cheese
- Cheez whiz
- American cheese
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How to Increase the Chance of Velveeta Cheese to Last Longer in the Freezer?
You have to remove the Velveeta Cheese from the original package and wrap it in cling wrap, aluminum foil, or plastic wrap. If you plan to save the cheese a bit longer in the freezer, add a few more wraps to create a double layer for the cheese.
Put the wrapped package into a bag and squeeze out the excess air before freezing. Before thawing, ensure to refrigerate it over time.
Q. How Long Velveeta Cheese is Good for Consumption Post Best-by Date?
If the Velveeta Cheese is unopened, it keeps its quality for another six months after the best-by date mentioned on the label. However, users must check for the spoilage signs before using the cheese to avoid the risk of getting sick.
It is safe to consume the Velveeta Cheese for six months after expiry if you see no signs of spoilage and the quality is good to taste and smell.
Q. Do You Need to Refrigerate Velveeta Cheese After Opening to Avoid Spoilage?
The simple answer is yes, especially if you want to extend its shelf life and keep the quality intact. Refrigeration is not necessary for the unopened Velveeta Cheese as it is shelf-stable. But, after you open the package of your Velveeta Cheese, it would require refrigeration to maintain its quality longer and prevent the spoilage signs from appearing.
But, if you intend to finish the package in a couple of days, refrigeration is not needed.
Hopefully, the questions on how long Velveeta Cheese lasts, shelf life, storage conditions, and methods have been answered, with in-depth analysis in diverse mediums. Plus, the ways to identify the rancid Velveeta Cheese and tips for storage are shared to extend its shelf life.
Velveeta Cheese sits well at room temperature when unopened, and after opening, it lasts for eight weeks. But it is best to check the best-by date on its package.
Velveeta Cheese rarely gets mold growth, and hence in many cases, you have to discard it not because it has gone rancid but because of its poor quality.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Michael A. Antoine is a Sr. Chef at one of the leading chains of restaurants in the USA. He might raise hell in his kitchen, but his deep and practical knowledge about food and recipes helps us give you the best and tastiest recipes.