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Does Kraft Mac and Cheese Expire

Does Kraft Mac & Cheese Expire? Resolved (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on September 23, 2022 by Shari Mason

Most households have a stash of Mac and Cheese in their pantries. From the on-the-go microwavable snacks to blue box dinners, Kraft has quick and easy to cook Mac and Cheese. 

But does Kraft Mac and Cheese expire? How long is Kraft Mac and Cheese good for? Read on.

Can Kraft Mac & Cheese Expire?

hand holding a box of kraft macaroni and cheese on a wooden table

Yes, Kraft Mac & Cheese expires because it is a food item.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is made of dry pasta and a dry mix sachet of cheese with natural flavors, colors, and artificial preservatives. It has a longer span in terms of spoilage because it has a very long shelf life.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese can be considered a “Best Before” date, which means the product will be of its most suitable quality before the indicated date.  

How To Tell If It Has Expired

It Is Past Expiration Date

A Kraft macaroni and cheese pack comes with expiration dates. However, the expiry date shown in each mac and cheese packet is the best-by or best-before date. These dates are indicators of the freshness of the product. 

It doesn’t mean that Kraft macaroni and cheese are not edible. It may not be of its best quality, but the food will be safe to eat after this date. [1]

It Has Molds

It is expired if the Kraft macaroni and cheese boxes are moldy due to long storage. Molds can cause food spoilage and undesirable changes to the food. 

If you find the food item with signs of mold or the box has changed into an off-color appearance, discard it. These signs can indicate the food has gone bad and is spoiled. 

It Has A Bland Flavor

We can tell if cooked mac and cheese is spoiled by its fragrance. If it has an acrid smell, it’s expired. A spoiled, cooked macaroni and cheese will have an awful odor. 

But another way to know is through its flavor. It is spoiled if a cooked Kraft Mac and Cheese have a bland flavor. Kraft Mac and cheese mostly contain dairy products, and the pack of cheese powder might lose flavor as time goes by. 

Also, if you try to open the powdered cheese pack and notice moisture in the sauce mix, it means it’s expired, and you need to throw it away. 

What Happens if You Consume Expired Kraft Mac & Cheese? 

mac and cheese on a white plate

You don’t need to worry about getting sick if you eat expired Kraft Mac and Cheese. It won’t harm you if you eat expired mac and cheese that still looks okay – no molds, smells good, and tastes delectable.

But if there are visible signs of spoilage, throw it away and do not consume it. Although a pack of mac and cheese has preservatives, it can still lead to food poisoning. 

So, the best way is never to eat Kraft Mac and Cheese with off-smell, off-mixture, and molds. 

How To Store It Properly? 

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is a shelf-stable food you can safely store at room temperature. [2]

It can have a lifespan of about two years. But you must ensure the boxed mac and cheese is properly stored in a cool, dry place. 

To avoid moisture, keep uncooked macaroni and cheese out of direct sunlight or artificial light.

Also, be careful not to break the packaging because it will allow air to come in. If it happens, you can transfer it to a sealed container and use it as soon as possible.

Shelf Life of Kraft Mac & Cheese  

Unopened

Unopened Kraft macaroni and cheese will retain its quality for about two years. But you might ask, does Kraft Mac and Cheese expire? Yes, it can, but it will last longer in proper storage conditions. 

Store it away from heat or direct sunlight and in a dry and cool place.

Proper storing of mac and cheese could stay long even after its expiration date. However, before consuming it, you must check for visible spoilage signs.

Opened

It is best to consume an opened box of uncooked Kraft macaroni and cheese within two weeks.

Also, you might not want to leave it open in its original packaging. You can put it in an air-tight container, then freeze mac and cheese to prolong its lifespan.

However, cooked mac and cheese will last up to four days in the fridge if stored in an air-tight container.

But if you want it to last a bit longer, you can store it in the freezer for about two months. Just don’t forget to thaw the cooked pasta before reheating.

FAQs 

How long does Kraft Mac and Cheese last past expiration date?

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.

Is it fine to store Kraft Mac and Cheese in the freezer?

Yes. It is fine to store Kraft Mac and Cheese in the freezer. But discoloration might occur when you have frozen mac and cheese. It is best to put it in a sealed container, which might help prolong its flavor and quality.

Summary

Kraft macaroni & cheese has a longer shelf life than you think. Knowing its shelf life is important, but the right storage could prevent it from spoilage. 

Whether you want to keep mac and cheese in the fridge or store the leftover, you should keep it in a sealed container. It can still be good to eat even after its best-by date.

References:

  1. https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/best-before-and-use-by-dates 
  2. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/shelf-stable-food
Shari Mason

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