If you have a stash of Kraft Mac and Cheese in your pantry and ask yourself does kraft mac and cheese expire? Then, you are not alone.
Who does not have a stock of Kraft mac and cheese? It’s one of the most popular foods of Americans, and we are all guilty of treating ourselves with a serving at odd hours. These ready-to-make packs are nothing more than a treat for busy people. Heat in the oven and enjoy the food any time of day and night.
If you love to have Kraft Mac and cheese packs, chances are you don’t check the expiration date now and then. They may pass the expiration date. Or you end up having a bulk of them in the back that you have not checked the best before date. So is it safe to eat an expired Kraft Mac and Cheese, or how to know if and when you should not use them?
Well, we have you covered. This article will discuss all issues about mac and cheese and whether it expires.
We will also see how to know if they are expired or what to do if you happen to have some packs left in your pantry. We will discuss both dry and cooked mac and cheese. Stick along as we have a lot to discuss.
Does Kraft Mac and Cheese Expire?
Kraft macaroni and cheese is something we all have in our pantry, so proudly arranged ready to serve on whims but does it expire?
Kraft Mac and cheese are dried and packed, ready to be microwaved. They are good to use for a long time. The dried macaroni and cheese come with an expiration date.
You can find the best by date on each packet, but the truth is that if you have not opened the pack, it’s good to go for a long time. An unopened and properly stored pack of mac and cheese stays good long after its expiration date.
Cooked Kraft Mac And Cheese
If you have microwaved Mac and cheese, then it’s a different thing. Once it’s cooked, it’s like other regular food. You can still refrigerate it if you want to consume it later or put it in a freezer if you intend to store it for many days.
How long Does Mac and Cheese Last?
As we said, the packet of mac and cheese comes with an expiry date. But if you have not opened the pack and stored it in a proper place, it may stay good long after its expiration date.
That is not the case with cooked mac and cheese. Once it’s cooked and ready to eat, its life depends on your handling and storage conditions.
If you happen to treat yourself to a bowl of mac and cheese late at night, you may not finish it at all. You can refrigerate it and eat it later within two to three days.
However, you can keep the cooked mac and cheese in a freezer as well.
How to Store Mac and Cheese Properly?
For uncooked packs, you can keep them in the pantry like any other dry food. It should be placed in a dry and cool place. It’s the cooked macaroni and cheese that needs special treatment.
Whether you want to store mac and cheese in the freezer or the fridge, it should be sealed in an air-tight container.
You can take an air-tight container and put your mac and cheese in it. Tightly seal the lid so that it remains safe from air, moisture, or smells. If you have put it in the freezer, and it stays good for up to three days.
You can put the same air-tight bowl in the freezer and enhance the shelf life of mac and cheese.
A properly sealed pack of mac and cheese can stay good in the freezer for up to a month or two, depending on if your freezer keeps the constant low temperature.
Kraft Mac and Cheese Expiration Date
So the expiration date of kraft mac and cheese is:
- Fridge: it can last up to three days in a cool, dry place in an air-tight container.
- Freezer: In a constantly low-temperature freezer, a bowl of mac and cheese stays good for up to two months. If you have power issues, you can’t depend on these calculations.
9 Signs That Mac and Cheese Is Expired
As for the dry mac and cheese, as long as it remained sealed in air-tight packs, it won’t go bad. Though in certain cases, if the package is punctured and air and moisture enter the pack, it can expire even before its expiration date. Here are some signs of mac and cheese expired
Nothing worse than stinky food. If your mac and cheese are gone bad, you probably know without looking at it. It has a distinct stinky smell.
Even if it does not smell too bad, if you feel a slightly off smell of anything else from your mac and cheese, it probably means it has been contaminated from other food in the fridge. So it’s better not to use the mac and cheese if it smells differently or bad.
2) Mushy Macaroni
Freezing and reheating may not spoil the food, but it certainly changes mac and cheese’s texture. Reheating it on the stove can dry it out. You can reheat in an oven, and it gives better results, but still, if you see too mushy macaroni, it’s probably due to moisture drying out.
3) Rancid cheese
If you feel an acrid smell and taste of cheese, then it’s also a clear sign that mac and cheese are not good to eat.
4) Bad taste
If reheated macaroni does not taste as good as it should be, then it has gone bad for sure.
Discoloration happens when you have frozen mac and cheese, and it’s not an air-tight container. The other ingredients in the freezer or the fluctuation of temperature can also impact the color of mac and cheese.
When you reheat this mac and cheese, it may not taste as well as fresh. Anything that does not look fresh or taste fresh should be discarded.
That happens especially when you leave the mac and cheese bowl in the fridge and leave it for 3 4 days. You may end up finding mold on your fridge. It’s stinky, and you better throw it as early as possible. Leaving it in the fridge can also be dangerous as it can contaminate the other food as well.
7) Watery texture
Change in the consistency of mac and cheese is normal. It can dry out due to reheating. What if you feel it’s a bit runny and watery? Then it’s no good anymore. You better discard it.
If the ingredients inside are not in the right order and you notice some lumps in dried macaronies or inside the cheesy packet, it has been expired.
9) Moist Powdered Cheese
If the cheese in the packet seems lumpy or moist, it also means the packet has expired, and you better throw it away.
Can I keep Mac And Cheese in the fridge?
That is probably the most heard question when it comes to food. Can you leave the food in the fridge and forget, and does it still stay good?
Well, the short and sweet answer to this question is not at all. You cannot leave your food in the fridge and expect it to stay good for a week or so.
Yes, you can put it in the fridge to consume later in the day or the next day, or the next day. But no more than that.
In the fridge section, you have a low controlled temperature. It’s probably 42 degrees ºF or less, but it is not freezing the food. It will slow the growth of bacteria in food, but it won’t stop them at all.
So you can leave a mac and cheese bowl in the fridge for up to two to three days, but no more than that. If you don’t intend to use them in the coming days, you better put them in a freezer.
Only putting the bowl in the freezer won’t do the job of saving your food for longer periods. You have to be careful about other storage conditions.
How to store mac and cheese in the fridge?
For a starter, put them in an air-tight container. The bowl should be dry and cleaned. Make sure you tightly close the lid. That goes for everything you put in the fridge. Make sure it’s closed and air-tight, or its smell can affect the other food in your fridge.
Can you Eat Expired Kraft Mac and Cheese?
Each pack of mac and cheese has a best before the date written on the pack. So what if you have lots of packs still in the pantry with an expired date?
Should I throw it all, or are they edible?
The good news is that there is nothing too technical here. There is nothing much in dried Kraft mac and cheese that could go bad. If the storage conditions are good and if packs are unopened, then you can still consume them.
You can’t go wrong here as there is no rocket science here.
Dried macaroni stays good for long, and you need to check the powered sachet. If it does not look old and lumpy, they’re probably safe to consume. So there if the inner ingredients look fresh and good, then your pack of kraft mac and cheese is still good to enjoy.
What happens if you eat Expired Mac and Cheese?
Technically nothing much would happen. If you have checked the ingredients and there are no signs of mold, lumps, or a stinky smell, then it’s good to be used.
So if you eat the expired mac and cheese that looks good and smells good and tastes good, nothing would happen.
You won’t have food poisoning as rancid or bad food is not consumable at all.
You usually can’t eat anything smelling of sour milk or having mold. So if you have eaten the pack after expiration, it must be in good condition, and you don’t have to worry about it being contaminated at all.
A well-sealed pack of mac and cheese remains good to be used for up to 2 years.
Even when you have the packets with an expiry date long passed, instead of throwing, check and see if it is dry and fresh from inside. If it looks all dry and fresh, then it won’t taste bad as well.
Comfort food like a pack of kraft Mac and cheese is our best friend. It can be confusing if you have bought a big stock and are not sure if it’s still useable.
So next time you see a big sale on these items, don’t rethink as stable shelf food like mac and cheese has longer shelf lives than you think.
Even a cooked mac and cheese can be stored in a proper way to prevent spoiling. You can keep it in the fridge or freezer in an air-tight bag and reheat it when you feel like eating it. It’s delicious, easy to cook, and saves a lot of trouble making mac and cheese from scratch.
So, do you already know if Kraft Mac and Cheese expire? Please, feel free to leave your comments and opinion below!