Almost every home you visit has a box or two of Mac and Cheese tucked away in the kitchen. This cheesy, delicious quick fix is a favorite, especially the kinds that Kraft makes. Whether it’s the instant, microwave-friendly snack packs or the famous blue boxes of dinner delight, Kraft Mac and Cheese is a top choice because it’s super easy to make and tastes awesome.
But hey, have you ever paused to think – does Kraft Mac and Cheese ever go bad? How many days, weeks, or months is it safe to eat? Let’s dive in and find out together!
Can Kraft Mac & Cheese Expire?
Absolutely, Kraft Mac & Cheese does expire, because let’s face it, it’s food, and almost all foods have an expiration date.
Kraft’s Mac & Cheese is crafted with dry pasta and comes with a packet of dry cheese mix that’s bursting with flavors, colors, and some preservatives that are totally safe to eat. These ingredients are not fresh, which means they can stay good for quite a long time, giving the product a lengthy shelf life.
However, on each box, you’ll notice a date which is the “Best Before” date. This date is like the product’s own little calendar, telling you when it will taste the best. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be bad or unsafe to eat after this date, but it might not taste as fantastic as it would if you eat it before the date arrives.
How To Tell If It Has Expired
It Is Past Expiration Date
Every box of Kraft Mac & Cheese comes with an expiry date. This date is kind of like a suggestion for when you should eat it to experience its perfect, cheesy goodness. If you miss this date, it’s not a big deal – the mac and cheese might not taste as great, but it’s still safe to eat.
It Has Molds
If your Mac & Cheese box has been sitting in the pantry for way too long, check for molds. Molds are sneaky little things that can make the food go bad, changing its color and taste. If you spot any molds or if the color of the Mac & Cheese looks odd, it’s time to let it go.
It Has A Bland Flavor
The real magic of Mac & Cheese is in its rich and creamy flavor. If your cooked Mac & Cheese doesn’t smell as delicious as it should or if it has a strange odor, it’s a sign that it might be spoiled. Another clue is the taste. If it’s bland or just doesn’t taste right, it’s probably expired.
A significant thing to check is the cheese packet. If you open it and there’s moisture inside, that’s a red flag. The cheese packet should be dry. Moisture means it’s expired, and you should not use it. So, in that case, it’s time to say goodbye to that box of Mac & Cheese.
What Happens if You Consume Expired Kraft Mac & Cheese?
Here’s the deal: eating expired Kraft Mac & Cheese won’t typically make you sick if it still seems alright with no molds, maintains a pleasant smell, and still tastes delicious.
However, you definitely don’t want to mess with Mac & Cheese that shows signs of spoilage. If it looks or smells weird, it’s a safer bet to just toss it out. Even though this delightful box of cheesy goodness contains preservatives to keep it fresh for longer, it isn’t invincible to spoilage that might lead to food poisoning.
So, rule of thumb: if something seems off, like an odd smell, strange texture, or presence of molds – say goodbye and throw it away! But wait, should you be using foil when dealing with Mac and Cheese?
How To Store It Properly?
Kraft Mac & Cheese is pretty easy-going. It’s what you’d call a “shelf-stable” food, meaning it can hang out in your pantry at room temperature without a problem. This box of cheesy delight can stay good for around two years! But you’ve got to play your part to make sure it lives that long.
First things first: keep it in a cool, dry place. Avoid letting it sit under the bright sun or under strong artificial lights. These conditions can attract moisture, and we’ve learned that moisture is not a friend to your Mac & Cheese.
Also, handle the box with care. If the packaging gets damaged or broken, air can sneak in, and this will shorten its shelf life. In such cases, it’s best to transfer your Mac & Cheese to a sealed container and plan to use it soon.
Shelf Life of Kraft Mac & Cheese
Unopened boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese can stay good for about two years, which is quite a long time! But, of course, this assumes you’re storing it the right way. Even though it can expire, it tends to last longer if you store it correctly. Keep it in a place that’s cool and dry, away from direct sunlight or any heat source, and it’ll be there for you, ready to be cooked and enjoyed.
Even if the box is past its expiration date, it might still be okay to eat as long as it doesn’t show signs of spoilage. Always check for any signs that something might be wrong with it before you decide to cook it.
Once you open a box, the clock starts ticking a bit faster. It’s a good idea to use opened, uncooked Mac & Cheese within about two weeks. Don’t just leave it sitting in its box – instead, transfer it to an airtight container and if you want to extend its life a bit, you can even freeze it.
If you’ve already cooked it, you should eat it within four days if it’s kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container. But if you want to extend the life of your cooked Mac & Cheese, freezing it is an option. It can last up to two months in the freezer. Just remember to thaw it out before you reheat it!