There has been an ongoing deliberation about whether American cheese should actually be considered “real” cheese.
It is a fact that this type of processed cheese is among the best options if you are looking for an inexpensive and easy-to-use meltable and gooey cheese for your burger, mac, and cheese, a dip, topping, or grilled cheese sandwich.
American processed cheese is not made in a traditional way but results from integrating other cheese products such as cheddar and Colby. The American cheese can vary from white to yellow and is an inexpensive and convenient alternative to different cheeses.
The question is – how long does American cheese last? And also – can it go bad, and what is the best way to preserve it?
Read on to find information about how to preserve American cheese, how to know if it has gone bad, and more.
How Long Can American Cheese Last? Does It Ever Go Bad?
Even though American cheese is a processed and pasteurized product, many people think it cannot spoil.
The truth is that yes, it can last more than some other cheeses, but it will go bad and will deteriorate in taste and quality over time.
One of the easiest and specific ways to determine the cheese’s shelf life is to check the best by date on its label.
Keep in mind that the best-before date is only an indication of the date until the American cheese remains at top quality. Usually, it will not spoil and can be eaten safely long after the best-by date. But then you can expect its quality to start deteriorating.
If your package of American cheese has not yet been opened, you can store it unsealed and in the fridge. You can expect it to last and remain edible for two to three weeks following the best-before date.
The same goes for opened American cheese.
But if you want the best culinary results, make sure you eat the cheese within its expiration date.
As a longer-term storage option, you can proceed to freeze the American cheese as well.
To get the best results, wrap the cheese tightly and well or place it in an airtight container prior to freezing it. When kept at a temperature below zero degrees Fahrenheit, you can preserve the American cheese forever.
Before you use it, let the cheese thaw in the fridge. It can be used for making casseroles, soups, or other dishes. Once defrosted, American cheese can last for another 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Related: Recommended Rotary Cheese Graters
How to Tell if the American Cheese Has Gone Bad? What is its Shelf Life?
It is relatively easy to determine whether the American cheese has gone bad. All you need to do is use one or more of your senses. Look at the cheese for any change in color or structure. Sniff it to determine whether there is a foul or odd sour smell. If you notice any mold on the cheese, then it is time to throw it out.
The mold may be harder to notice since American processed cheese is usually yellow due to the annatto coloring. It can be white, blue, orange, or red. Dispose of the whole batch if you see mold on the cheese.
Small holes or slimy mold growth on the surface of the cheese are other indicators that it has begun to degrade.
Take a little nibble and taste the cheese to ensure that it is fit for consumption. It is advised to use your other senses first, though, before consuming any American cheese.
It has probably gone rotten or become of lower quality if it has a peculiar odor.
American cheese purchased from a deli has a shelf life of two to three weeks following the expiration date.
Kraft processed cheese usually has a shelf life of 5-6 months after it has been produced.
Related: How Long Does String Cheese Last?
American cheese has a much longer shelf life than brie, cream cheese, or other soft cheeses.
It is easy to store in the fridge or freezer. And it can last for a long time. This makes it a convenient and much-loved choice in the USA and other countries.
The American cheese can be used for making snacks, cooking meals, and as an ingredient for sauces, toppings, and others.
The semi-hard cheese is less expensive than most other cheese, lasts longer, and is very easy to preserve.
Hopefully, we have helped you understand the best way to store the American cheese and what steps to take to determine whether it is still good to use.
Read Further: How Long Does Shredded Cheese Last?