Velveeta is a processed cheese product manufactured by Kraft Foods Company. It tastes like American cheese and has a mild, creamy, and salty flavor. It is best known for the name “liquid gold” for its creamy consistency and melting perfectly when added to meals such as nachos, mac n’ cheese, and casseroles. It is often found in the dips and spreads section of grocery stores, and occasionally in the dairy and eggs section. If you purchased a package of Velveeta, you may be wondering if Velveeta goes bad, since it’s not exactly real cheese.
Velveeta does go bad, even though it contains many preservatives. Unopened at room temperature it lasts about 6 months, and opened in the refrigerator it lasts 8 weeks. Velveeta has a best-by date on the label, but may last longer than that if it was properly stored. To get the best quality from Velveeta, consume before the best-by date.
In this article, we will go over whether Velveeta goes bad over time, answer some common questions about it, and discuss how to properly store it. Then we will look at some other alternatives to Velveeta that might be better options in your next cheesy dish.
- Does Velveeta Go Bad Over Time?
- Does Velveeta Need To Be Refrigerated?
- How Can You Tell If Velveeta Has Gone Bad?
- Does Velveeta Go Bad After Opening?
- Can You Get Sick From Eating Old Velveeta?
- Does Velveeta Have Preservatives?
- Is Velveeta Healthy?
- How To Properly Store Velveeta
- Alternatives To Velveeta
- Related Questions
Does Velveeta Go Bad Over Time?
Velveeta does go bad over time. It lasts about 6 months unopened, and about 8 weeks after opening in the refrigerator. It has a best-by date printed on the label, which means the company that produced it can guarantee the quality up to that date. However, because Velveeta is highly preserved, and if it is stored properly the entire time, it may last longer than that date.
Does Velveeta Need To Be Refrigerated?
If unopened, Velveeta does not need to be refrigerated and can last about 6 months unopened. It is shelf-stable, which is why it can be found on shelves in the grocery store and not in the refrigerated section. Once it is opened, it needs to be refrigerated and can last about 8 weeks.
How Can You Tell If Velveeta Has Gone Bad?
Fresh Velveeta will have a pale yellow color, a subtle smell, and a soft texture. It tastes like American cheese with a mild, creamy, and salty flavor. If you see any changes in the color, smell, flavor, texture, or appearance, you should throw it away. Although it is rare for Velveeta to get moldy with the amount of preservatives it contains, if there is any sign of mold, throw it away. In most cases, you will throw it away due to loss of quality in flavor and texture, not because it has spoiled in the typical way.
Does Velveeta Go Bad After Opening?
Yes, Velveeta does go bad after opening and lasts about 8 weeks in the refrigerator. Once opened, make sure to keep it sealed in an airtight container in the refrigerator, as it will harden if exposed to air.
Can You Get Sick From Eating Old Velveeta?
Eating old Velveeta should not make you sick, unless it was stored improperly and shows visible signs of mold. It is a highly preserved product and can last a long time, even beyond the best-by date on the label. However, always err on the side of caution and do not consume Velveeta if it was not stored properly or shows any visible changes in appearance.
Does Velveeta Have Preservatives?
Velveeta is not real cheese but is labeled by Kraft Foods as a cheese product and contains a high amount of preservatives. Unlike real cheese that does require refrigeration, these preservatives allow for Velveeta to be kept at room temperature for up to 6 months unopened. The preservatives contained in Velveeta are sodium phosphate, maltodextrin, calcium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic acid, sodium alginate, and sodium citrate.
Is Velveeta Healthy?
No, Velveeta is not a healthy food product. It originally was made from real cheese, but today, the ingredients do not list any specific cheeses. It does include dairy products such as milk, milk fat, milk protein concentrate, whey, whey protein concentrate, and cheese culture. By FDA standards, that is not real cheese, which is why Kraft Foods labels Velveeta as a cheese product, and not actual cheese.
It also contains a lot of added preservatives, stabilizers, fillers, and texture improvers such as sodium phosphate, maltodextrin, calcium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic acid, sodium alginate, and sodium citrate.
In addition, Velveeta is high in calories, fat, and sodium content for the serving size. One serving of Velveeta is ½ inch slice and contains 70 calories, 4 grams fat (5% daily value), and 390mg of sodium (15% daily value). In most cases, Velveeta is added to foods and melted, which makes it difficult to control how much is consumed, easy to overindulge in, and eat a lot more than one serving.
For healthier alternatives to Velveeta, keep reading to find out. There are some listed further in this article.
How To Properly Store Velveeta
- Unopened Velveeta is shelf-stable and should be stored in a cool, dry place up until the best-by date on the package.
- If opened, Velveeta should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or placed in airtight container and refrigerated. It will be best until 8 weeks after opening.
Alternatives To Velveeta
For a quality cheese made from grass-fed cows with only 4 ingredients, Kerrygold Dubliner 100% Natural Cheese is a comparable but so much tastier alternative to Velveeta. Unlike Velveeta, this is actual cheese that will add an authentic cheesy flavor to all your dishes. It has a sweet and nutty taste, with a hint of sharpness. It melts beautifully and works well in burgers, mac n’ cheese, dips, casseroles, or any other cheesy dish. This cheese needs to be refrigerated at all times.
Daiya Cheddar Style Deluxe Cheeze Sauce is a cheddar style sauce that is creamy, velvety, and can be used just like any other cheese sauce. It has deep cheddar flavors and is a perfect topping for noodles, vegetables, baked potatoes, tortilla chips, and nachos. It contains clean ingredients and is dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO. It can be served at room temperature or heated. This sauce is shelf stable until opened, and needs refrigeration after opening.
Deliciously creamy, dairy-free, and plant-based, Core & Rind Cashew Cheesy Sauce is a great alternative to Velveeta. It is also shelf-stable but with a lot of clean ingredients that you can actually pronounce. This sauce is a healthy option for those leading paleo, vegan, and keto lifestyles. It works just as well on all your favorite cheesy dishes like mac n’ cheese and nachos. This sauce comes in three flavors – sharp and tangy, bold and spicy, rich and smoky. This sauce needs to be refrigerated after opening.
With all natural ingredients and preservative-free, Siete Cashew Queso is another amazing alternative to Velveeta. It is dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, paleo, vegan, and non-GMO. Tastes like nacho cheese and adds a perfect spice to dips, salsas, and any other dish that could use some flavor. This queso needs to be refrigerated at all times, and should be used within 7 days of opening.
This option may not be a cheesy sauce or block like Velveeta, but Healthier Comforts Organic Cheddar Cheese Powder is a wonderful alternative that you can use for rich cheesy flavor in unlimited ways. You can even make mac n’ cheese with this by just adding milk, butter, and noodles. Sprinkle it on popcorn, pretzels, vegetables, potatoes, or bake into bread.
This cheese powder is certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, keto-friendly, Kosher, dye-free, low-carb, contains no fillers, and comes from cows raised with no antibiotics or hormones. Only 5 ingredients are in this cheese, whereas Velveeta has about 20. It also has a long shelf life of 1 year and comes in a resealable bag. No refrigeration needed.
Does Velveeta have dairy?
Yes, Velveeta has dairy in the form of whey, whey protein concentrate, milk, milk protein concentrate, milk fat, and cheese culture.
Does Velveeta have gluten?
No, Velveeta does not have gluten. Kraft Foods, the company that produces Velveeta, has a trusted policy to disclose if a food product contains any allergens in the nutrition label. Velveeta does not list any gluten-containing ingredients. Maltodextrin, which is a concerning ingredient for people with a gluten intolerance, is considered safe to consume because it is processed in a way that renders it gluten-free even when it is made from wheat.
Is Velveeta keto-friendly?
No, Velveeta is not keto-friendly because it contains a high amount of carbohydrates and sugar for the serving size. The serving size is ½ inch slice of cheese and it contains 3 grams carbohydrates and 2 grams sugar. It is very easy to eat more than the serving size of Velveeta because it is typically melted into food. Velveeta also contains canola oil, which is highly refined oil with low nutritional value. It is important to consume healthy fats on a keto diet, as they are the primary source of fuel for your body while in ketosis.