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How Long Does American Cheese Last? Does it Go Bad?

Are you one of those people who always keep American cheese in their fridge?

Does it frustrate you that no matter how many times you ask yourself, “How long does American cheese last?,” your answer is never as clear-cut as you would like it to be?

Rest assured, in this blog post we are going to cover everything from the shelf life of processed and unprocessed cheeses to other important information such as storage instructions and guidelines.

So pull up a chair and don’t worry if the topic at hand may seem perplexing – by the end of this post, all your questions about how long American cheese will last should be answered!

What’s American Cheese?

American cheese is a type of processed cheese made from cheddar, Swiss, colby, or other types of cheese.

It has an essentially bland flavor, a mild buttery smell, and an orange-yellow hue.

American cheese has a semi-firm texture and is strongly associated with hamburgers or grilled sandwiches when it is melted.

The yellowish color of this sliced cheese was originally created in the 1940s by food scientists attempting to make a cheap but nutritious food product that could withstand long periods without spoiling.

The unique taste and texture have seen it become widely sought after as an ingredient in cooked dishes like macaroni and cheese, as well as being served as a snack on its own.

American cheese is also part of popular culture due to its everyday use on classic dishes like cheeseburgers.

How to Store American Cheese?

American cheese is a type of cheese that is made from cow’s milk.

It is white or yellow in color and has a mild flavor.

American cheese is typically sold in pre-sliced, packaged form.

To store American cheese, first wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Then place the wrapped cheese in a refrigerator set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

If you will not be using the cheese within two weeks, you can freeze it for longer storage.

When ready to use, thaw the frozen cheese in the refrigerator overnight before unwrapping and using it.

When storing American cheese, make sure to keep it away from strong-smelling foods as its mild flavor can easily be overpowered.

Also, avoid storing American cheese in the door of the refrigerator as this area is typically warmer than the rest of the fridge.

How Long Does American Cheese Last?

American cheese is a stable food item that has a long shelf life when unopened and stored in the refrigerator.

It can stay safe to consume for two months beyond its “use by” date, as long as it remains unopened and stored between 35°F and 40°F.

If you choose to freeze American cheese, it will remain safe to consume for up to three months after its “freeze by” date, however the texture changes dramatically and does not retain the same same qualities once thawed.

Once opened, you should use American cheese within about five to seven days for optimal quality.

Can You Freeze American Cheese?

Can you freeze American Cheese? The answer is yes, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

First of all, American cheese is a processed cheese, which means that it has been treated with chemicals and preservatives to extend its shelf life.

When frozen, these chemicals and preservatives can leach out into the cheese, giving it an unpleasant flavor.

Additionally, the texture of American cheese changes when it is frozen- it becomes crumbly and dry.

For these reasons, it is best to use frozen American cheese within a few months of freezing it.

If you do decide to freeze American cheese, be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

This will help to prevent freezer burn, which can further degrade the quality of the cheese.

When thawing American cheese, place it in the refrigerator overnight so that it can slowly come to room temperature.

Do not try to microwave or defrost the cheese, as this will cause it to become tough and rubbery.

Overall, freezing American cheese is not ideal, but it can be done if necessary.

Be sure to use it within a few months for best results.

How to Tell If American Cheese is Bad?

American cheese is a type of processed cheese that is made from a blend of milk, cream, and sometimes buttermilk.

It has a mild flavor and a smooth, creamy texture.

American cheese is easy to slice and melt, making it a popular choice for sandwiches and burgers.

So how can you tell if American cheese has gone bad? There are a few signs to look out for.

First, check the color of the cheese. If it has changed from its usual white or pale yellow color to a darker yellow, green, or blue, then it has probably gone bad.

Second, smell the cheese. If it has developed an unpleasant odor, then it is probably no longer safe to eat.

Finally, taste the cheese. If it tastes sour or off, then it should be discarded.

If you’re not sure whether the cheese is bad or not, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and throw it away.

American cheese does not age well and will only get worse over time.


American cheese does not last forever.

American cheese generally lasts for about 2-4 weeks after the date of manufacture, and about 2-3 weeks after being opened.

However, there are a few ways to tell if American cheese has gone bad.

If the cheese has a sour smell, is moldy, or has changed colors, it has probably gone bad and should be thrown out.

If you’re not sure whether the cheese is still good, err on the side of caution and throw it out.

How Long Does American Cheese Last? Does it Go Bad?

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • American cheese
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Store your product in an labelled container in a cool, dark place like the pantry or fridge.
  • If your food is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before cooking.
  • Make sure to look for signs that your food has gone bad before eating it.
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