Does Kraft Mac and Cheese Expire? (Read This First!) | Catch Grow Cook (2023)

Kraft Mac and Cheese is a convenience food that comes in a variety of flavors – four to be specific.

Easy to find and prepare, it’s no wonder that a box of mac and cheese can be found in most American households.

However, pantries can become black holes where an old box of mac and cheese might get pushed to the back only to be discovered many weeks or months later.

So, does Kraft Macaroni and Cheese expire? And if it does, can you still eat it?

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about if Kraft Mac and Cheese expires as well as how to tell if it’s gone bad.

Does Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Go Bad?

The simple answer here is Yes. Like every other food, Kraft Mac and Cheese will eventually expire or go bad. The good news, however, is that your unopened Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is still safe to consume well past the expiration date.

As a shelf-stable food, macaroni and cheese’s expiration date can be treated as a “Best Before” date. This is different from foods that are required to have “Use By” or “Sell By” dates, like meat or dairy products.

The best before date on Kraft Mac and Cheese only indicates when the product will be at its best quality, not when it will go bad.

That’s why consuming a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese well past its expiry date won’t lead to food poisoning. Even better, your mac and cheese won’t have a noticeable change in quality, so an old box of mac and cheese will taste very similar if not exactly the same as a brand new box.

How To Tell if Kraft Mac and Cheese is Bad

Dry mac and cheese will last an incredibly long time since it is shelf stable. Unless the box of mac and cheese gets damp or has obvious signs of mold, there aren’t many physical signs that the mac and cheese has gone bad.

In most cases, as long as the box of mac and cheese remains dry, the mac and cheese will cook normally.

However, if the box of mac and cheese is in a moist or damp environment, then look for signs of mold.

If the packaged cheese smells rancid or if the cheese has a moldy or off-color appearance then the box of mac and cheese may have gone bad.

Another sign to look for is if the box or cheese package has any tears or openings. Generally, any mac and cheese package that has been opened will not last as long as an unopened box.

So if you notice any openings then make sure to inspect both the pasta and the powdered cheese before cooking it. There’s a higher chance that the mac and cheese has gone bad due to moisture.

Is It Safe to Eat Expired Kraft Macaroni and Cheese?

Yes you can eat Kraft Mac and Cheese past the expiration date listed on the box. The expiration date on Mac and Cheese can be treated as a ‘best before’ date meaning the mac and cheese is still safe to eat.

As we mentioned, unopened Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is still safe to eat even after the expiration date.

So, if you have a box of unopened mac and cheese that’s past its expiration date, don’t worry. Just open it up and enjoy!

What happens if you eat expired Kraft mac and cheese?

If you accidentally eat expired Kraft Macaroni and Cheese then there’s no need to worry about getting sick. As we mentioned, this particular dish is still safe to consume past its expiration date.

Keep in mind, however, that eating expired mac and cheese with visible signs of spoilage is never a good idea. If the pasta or sauce mix is no longer as dry, lumpy, or moldy, it’s best to throw it away.

Even though food poisoning is less likely to occur from packaged mac and cheese due to all the preservatives used in many mac and cheeses, eating spoiled mac and cheese can still lead to food poisoning.

So, if you can, it’s always best to avoid eating Kraft Mac and Cheese that has any off-putting smells or signs of mold.

Can you store Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the refrigerator?

Uncooked mac and cheese is best stored in cool dark areas such as a pantry. Cooked mac and cheese can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

Storing the packages of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the refrigerator won’t significantly increase their shelf life. In truth, it can even shorten the shelf life, if the packages are not air-tight.

That’s because the higher levels of humidity in the fridge can cause the pasta to become clumpy and moldy.

Can you freeze Kraft Macaroni and Cheese?

By all means, go ahead. You can freeze both unopened and opened packages of Kraft Mac and Cheese, even cooked Kraft mac and cheese.

And if you’re worried about the quality, freezing Kraft Macaroni and Cheese will not affect its quality in any way. In fact, freezing can be a great way to prolong the shelf life of your mac and cheese.

You just want to ensure that you use an airtight container to hold the mac and cheese before freezing. That way, your mac and cheese won’t have any changes in flavor or quality due to freezer burn.

How long does unopened Kraft Mac and Cheese last?

On average, an unopened box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese will last for up to two years. This is as long as it’s stored in a dry and cool place, away from heat or direct sunlight.

Essentially, Kraft Mac and Cheese has a long shelf life, thanks to the fact that it’s a dry product. Consequently, you can be sure that your unopened box will still be good to eat long after the expiration date.

However, given how often you’re going to treat yourself to a box of this deliciousness, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever have an unopened box of mac and cheese lying around for more than a few months.

How long does opened Kraft Mac and Cheese last?

Once you’ve opened up a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, it’s best to consume it within two weeks. You should not leave the mac and cheese in the original packaging. Instead,it’s best to transfer it into an airtight container.

You can store the airtight container of mac and cheese in the freezer, as this will help to prolong its shelf life significantly.

However, you should cook an opened box of mac and cheese sooner than later since the flavor can degrade over time as more moisture mixes with the packaged cheese.

How long does cooked Kraft Mac and Cheese last?

Cooked Kraft Macaroni and Cheese will last in the fridge for up to four days. This is as long as it’s stored in an airtight container.

If you want your cooked mac and cheese to last even longer, you can store it in the freezer for up to two months. Just remember to thaw it overnight in the fridge before reheating.

For cooked Kraft Mac and Cheese, it’s easy to tell when it’s gone bad. You’ll know it’s time to throw it out when you notice any rancid smell, change in color, or an off flavor.

Storing Kraft Mac and Cheese for maximum longevity

Ideally, you should store your boxes of Kraft Mac and Cheese in a cool, dry place. Such locations are also better off if they are not exposed to direct sunlight or artificial light.

If you want to store your mac and cheese for the long term, then the best place to keep it would be in the pantry. The average pantry has all the ideal conditions for storing dry goods.

However, you can still toss your package of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese on the top of your cupboard and it will be fine, as long as the conditions are ideal.

Final Thoughts

What important points should you remember about the shelf life of Kraft Mac and Cheese?

First, unopened packages have a very long shelf life and can be stored for several years in ideal conditions.

Opened packages of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese will last for a few weeks in the fridge or up to two months in the freezer.

And finally, cooked Kraft Mac and Cheese will last for up to four days in the fridge or two months in the freezer.

With these guidelines in mind, you can enjoy your Kraft Mac and Cheese for a long time to come!


Does Kraft Mac and Cheese Expire? (Read This First!) | Catch Grow Cook? ›

An unopened Kraft Mac and Cheese

Kraft Mac and Cheese
The meal is the most popular grocery item in the country, where "Kraft Dinner" has an iconic status and has become a generic trademark of sorts for macaroni and cheese. It is often simply referred to by the initials K.D. › wiki › Kraft_Dinner
will last for up to two years. However, it is safe indefinitely since it is shelf stable.

How does box mac and cheese expire? ›

Kraft Mac and Cheese does not go bad in the way that expired dairy or meat would. If you store the food properly, away from moisture and pests, your unopened box of Kraft Mac and Cheese is safe to eat for almost two years!

How long is mac and cheese good for? ›

Store leftover mac and cheese in a sealed air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days for best quality.

Is Kraft macaroni and cheese safe to eat? ›

The ABSOLUTE MINIMUM you need to know, in 50 words or less: Boxed mac and cheese is high in phthalates because of plastic involved in processing, plus fat content. Phthalates are definitely a cause for concern, especially for infants and expecting females, but threshold doses aren't known.

How old is Kraft Mac and Cheese? ›

In 1937 during the Great Depression, Kraft came out with it's boxed macaroni and cheese option. Back then, one box could feed a family of four for only 19 cents and Kraft quickly sold over 8 million boxes in one year.

Does a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese expire? ›

An unopened Kraft Mac and Cheese will last for up to two years. However, it is safe indefinitely since it is shelf stable. You can be certain that your unopened box will still be good to eat long after the expiry date as long as it is stored properly. But it won't taste good as before it's due.

Do Mac products expire? ›

Contrary to popular belief, makeup does expire. MAC cosmetics are no exception. The majority of cosmetics expire in one year. However, there are certain cosmetics that expire in a few short months and certain cosmetics that last a lot longer than one year.

How do you know when mac and cheese goes bad? ›

How to tell if cooked macaroni and cheese is bad? If cooked macaroni and cheese develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, it should be discarded.

How long does uncooked macaroni last? ›

Dry pasta: Dry pasta won't ever really expire, but it will lose quality over time. Unopened dry pasta is good in the pantry for two years from the time of purchase, while opened dry pasta is good for about one year. There's no need to refrigerate or freeze dry pasta, since it won't extend its shelf-life.

Can 1 year old eat Kraft Mac and Cheese? ›

According to the USDA, noodles, pasta, and macaroni are good options for babies aged eight months and up (source: USDA). Whether you make it at home or order it from a restaurant, typical mac and cheese contains the common ingredients: elbow macaroni, milk, cheese, and butter.

Was Kraft Mac and Cheese recalled? ›

Kraft Foods Group is voluntarily recalling approximately 242,000 cases of select code dates and manufacturing codes of the Original flavor of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner – due to the possibility that some boxes may contain small pieces of metal. The recalled product is limited to the 7.25-oz.

Is Kraft cheese a real cheese? ›

KRAFT American Singles are a pasteurized prepared cheese product made with real cheddar cheese, dairy, and other ingredients. The cheese is blended and cooked with the other ingredients to create the unique, irresistible and ooey gooey melt that you know and love.

Does Kraft have a girlfriend? ›

While New England Patriots owner and billionaire Robert Kraft has many Super Bowl rings of his own, he gave an engagement ring to his now-wife, Dr. Dana Blumberg, in early 2022.

Who eats the most Kraft Dinner? ›

It was introduced under the Kraft Dinner name simultaneously in both Canada and the U.S. in 1937. The brand is popular with Canadians, who consume 55% more boxes per capita than Americans.

Who eats the most mac and cheese? ›

Canadians eat a lot of mac and cheese (a lot!)

Out of the 7 million boxes sold weekly around the world, Canadians purchase 1.7 million of them.

Is a Kraft single OK past expiration? ›

Kraft Singles has a shelf life of about three weeks after expiration. After that time, the cheese may not be as fresh and flavorful as it once was and is likely to have an off taste. What is this? It is still safe to eat after the expiration date.

Does Kraft cheese expire? ›

Kraft American cheese is a shelf-stable cheese that can last up to six months, depending on the storage conditions. However, it is important to check the expiration date on the package to ensure that the cheese is still safe to consume. It should be discarded if the cheese has a sour smell or an off-taste.

Can powdered cheese go bad? ›

In plastic containers or bags, Cheese powder will usually only last 1-2 years unopened. If stored in a #10 can or Mylar bag with oxygen absorbers, powdered cheese can last 15+ years. Regardless of the packaging method, you must keep cheese powder cool. High temperatures will make the fats go rancid.

Is a 7 year old Mac still good? ›

A product is considered obsolete if it was discontinued more than seven years ago. Taking a look at macOS compatibility (discussed below), we can see that most of the time, Macs are eligible to get the latest macOS version for about seven years. Apple generally supports each macOS version for three years.

Can a Mac last 10 years? ›

Hardware. Apple hardware typically lasts much longer than that from competing manufacturers. Lots of people have Macs that are 10 or even 20 years old that still work. And there are a few that are even older than that.

Is 10 year old Mac too old? ›

Apple considers Mac "vintage" if they were released between 5 and 7 years ago, and obsolete if older than 7 years. Obsolete Macs no longer qualify for service and support.

Why does my mac and cheese taste bad? ›

Not salting the pasta water

And great pasta begins with water that's been heavily salted. We're talking ocean water levels of salt. Not adding salt to your water leads to bland, tasteless noodles. This, in turn, leads to a finished product that is flavorless even after adding the cheese sauce.

Why does my mac and cheese taste bitter? ›

Bitter cheese is normally caused by two things;

Add a little extra salt, mix up, and try to get some more whey out. If you happen to have a cheese press, use it at this time. Wrap your cheese (even if it's soft) in a cheesecloth and press at 5 = 5 kg (11 lb) of pressure for 15 minutes. Then taste again.

How long is boxed food good for after expiration date? ›

Most shelf-stable foods are safe indefinitely. In fact, canned goods will last for years, as long as the can itself is in good condition (no rust, dents, or swelling). Packaged foods (cereal, pasta, cookies) will be safe past the 'best by' date, although they may eventually become stale or develop an off flavor.

How long is macaroni good for after the expiration date? ›

You can keep dry, boxed pasta for one to two years past its printed date. Fresh (uncooked) pasta ― the kind you'll often find in the refrigerated section of the supermarket next to Italian cheese ― is only good for four to five days beyond the date printed on the packaging.

How long does macaroni last past best by date? ›

Dried pasta will last for 1-2 years beyond a "best by" date, whereas fresh pasta will last for 4-5 days beyond a "best by" date. The shelf life of pasta depends on a variety of factors, such as the best by date, the preparation method and how it was stored.

How do you bring Kraft Mac and Cheese back to life? ›

  1. Place the macaroni & cheese into an oven-safe dish. Make sure to only take out what you're going to use.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of milk per cup of mac and cheese and mix to incorprate as much as possible. ...
  3. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven at 350°F for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through.

How can we save food for years? ›

All dry ingredients or supplies should be stored off the floor in clean, dry, dark places away from any source of moisture. Foods will maintain quality longer if extreme changes in temperature and exposure to light are avoided.

How do you store spaghetti long term? ›

If you're running out of space in your pantry, you can absolutely freeze dry pasta, but the purpose shouldn't be to extend its shelf life. When pasta is stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place, it lasts for a long time—no need for freezing.

Can babies have almond milk? ›

Experts advise only introducing other milk, such as cow's milk or almond milk, after a baby's first birthday, as the specific nutrient profile in breast and formula milk is essential for development. Almond milk can safely be given to most toddlers but is not a replacement for breast milk or infant formula.

Can a 7 month old eat macaroni and cheese? ›

Anxious to introduce macaroni and cheese? Hold off until closer to 12 months of age as it is exceedingly high in sodium. And even after the first birthday, consider cutting the cheese packet in half to minimize the sodium.

Can 1 year old eat any cheese? ›

Cheese can form part of a healthy, balanced diet for babies and young children, and provides calcium, protein and vitamins. Babies can eat pasteurised full-fat cheese from 6 months old. This includes hard cheeses, such as mild cheddar cheese, cottage cheese and cream cheese.

How unhealthy is a box of Kraft mac and cheese? ›

Plenty of adults crave a bowl too, even though this cheesy dish has a well-deserved reputation for being a calorie and fat bomb. Just 1 cup can contain more than 350 calories and 11 grams of saturated fat per serving. But now store shelves feature organic, whole-grain, and bean-based “mac” options.

What happened to Kraft Mac and Cheese? ›

"Kraft announced that Macaroni and Cheese will no longer be known as 'Macaroni and Cheese. ' In a move to be more informal and familiar, their signature product will be rebranded as simply 'Mac & Cheese. ' Similarly, the 'Thick'n Creamy' style will now be called 'Badunkadunk,'" tweeted writer Jarrett Bellini.

Why is Kraft Mac and Cheese getting sued? ›

The $5 million lawsuit makes the claim that the Kraft Heinz Foods Company falsely advertises its microwaveable mac and cheese meals. The single-serve cups of mac and cheese bear the packaging label that it's "ready in 3.5 minutes" and that's what the woman behind the lawsuit says is incorrect.

What cheese does McDonald's use? ›

The cheese slice used in our menu items like our Big Mac®, Cheeseburger and Quarter Pounder™ with Cheese contains approximately 60% real cheese (51% Cheddar and 9% Other Cheeses).

What is the healthiest cheese? ›

The 9 Healthiest Types of Cheese
  • Blue cheese.
  • Feta.
  • Cottage cheese.
  • Ricotta.
  • Parmesan.
  • Swiss.
  • Cheddar.
  • Goat.

Why is Kraft cheese so expensive? ›

Strong demand, supply constraints and uncertainty increased input costs for Kraft, the company said in the letter, adding that the “upward trend in packaging, transportation, ingredients and labor costs persists, reaching levels not seen in decades.” Those higher costs led to the company's decision to raise prices.

Does macaroni go bad in the box? ›

Unopened dry pasta is good in the pantry for two years from the time of purchase, while opened dry pasta is good for about one year. There's no need to refrigerate or freeze dry pasta, since it won't extend its shelf-life.

Is boxed mac and cheese non perishable? ›

Most requested non-perishable food items include: Boxed cereal. Boxed macaroni and cheese.

Is Velveeta mac and cheese good after the expiration date? ›

When stored in its original packaging, in a dry place, out of sunlight and at room temperature, it will stay fresh for a long time. Fresh unopened Kraft foods Velveeta cheese is safe to consume for at least six months past the packaging date that has been printed on the box.

Can I eat expired Kraft mac and cheese? ›

After the expiry date on a box of Kraft mac and cheese, it's generally still safe to eat for at least two years. Technically, all of the ingredients within it are totally shelf-stable. This means that if it is unopened, it will remain safe to eat for a very long time.

How do you know if macaroni is expired? ›

One of the most telling signs of expired pasta is that it has become slimy or gooey, which usually occurs right before visible mold begins to grow. You may also notice that it has a dullness or discoloration, such as a grayish or whitish hue.

Can you eat 1 year expired cheese? ›

Most packaged foods like cheese provide a best-by date. Although commonly confused with an expiration date, it instead indicates the date until which a food is of the best quality (4). This means that a food item — with the exception of infant formula — may still be safe to eat once this date passes.

Is expired cheese OK if its not moldy? ›

It's important to note that sometimes spoiled cheese will smell fine but taste bad, or vice versa, so the listed expiration date is usually the safest gauge for whether or not to toss it. Cheese is good, but it's definitely not worth getting food poisoning over.

How long is Kraft cheese good for after expiration date? ›

How Long Is Kraft Singles Good For After Expiration Date? Kraft Singles has a shelf life of about three weeks after expiration. After that time, the cheese may not be as fresh and flavorful as it once was and is likely to have an off taste. It is still safe to eat after the expiration date.

What cheese is most perishable? ›

Cheeses that contain more moisture and/or are not ripened (aged) are more perishable. These include soft unripened cheeses, such as cottage and cream cheese as well as fresh soft cheeses (Queso Fresco), and soft ripened cheeses like Brie, Camembert and fresh mozzarella.

What are the most needed non-perishable food items? ›

Specifically, food banks often need items like:
  • Canned soup.
  • Canned fruit.
  • Canned vegetables.
  • Canned stew.
  • Canned fish.
  • Canned beans.
  • Pasta (most prefer whole grain)
  • Rice (most prefer brown rice)
Jan 14, 2020

Why is Velveeta not refrigerated? ›

Even though it is a pasteurized product, that doesn't mean it's invulnerable to spoilage. Therefore, not refrigerating it will cause it to change its texture and possibly lead to an unpleasant taste or odor. The good news is that it can last over six months when Velveeta is stored correctly.

Can I eat expired Cracker Barrel mac and cheese? ›

Canned goods and shelf-stable foods like boxed macaroni-and-cheese have greater latitude than their perishable cousins. Unopened, they can be eaten a year or two past their expiration dates, although there have been more extreme examples.

Can you freeze Velveeta cheese? ›

The answer is yes, you can freeze Velveeta cheese, but it won't come out the same after freezing. Velveeta cheese is a processed cheese product made by Kraft. The company does not recommend freezing Velveeta cheese because the freezing process can cause the cheese to crystallize, making the texture grainy.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Pres. Lawanda Wiegand

Last Updated: 04/11/2023

Views: 6523

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Pres. Lawanda Wiegand

Birthday: 1993-01-10

Address: Suite 391 6963 Ullrich Shore, Bellefort, WI 01350-7893

Phone: +6806610432415

Job: Dynamic Manufacturing Assistant

Hobby: amateur radio, Taekwondo, Wood carving, Parkour, Skateboarding, Running, Rafting

Introduction: My name is Pres. Lawanda Wiegand, I am a inquisitive, helpful, glamorous, cheerful, open, clever, innocent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.