American cheese is simply a type of processed cheese. It is usually made with cheddar, goat milk, or Colby and colored with annatto. It is a semi-soft cheese and has a creamy and a slight salty flavor to it.
American cheese is popularly used in sandwiches and burgers. You can easily find in local stores or any deli counters.
Seasoned American cheese can add a ton of flavors to your meals if you are craving something sweet or savory.
Since the cheese is processed, you may have some doubts about its shelf life and storage method. Hence, this article is to help you understand everything- from storage to shelf life and preservation of American Cheese.
If you want to know how long does American cheese last, how to store it, and the signs that show its spoiled, keep reading.
How Long Does American Cheese Last? Does American Cheese Go Bad?
The shelf life of American cheese depends mostly on how well you store them. Since it is processed and pasteurized cheese, most people may think that American cheese will last a lifetime.
And yes, American cheese does last for a long time. But at some point in time, it can lose its optimal quality and turn rancid.
To keep a check on the shelf life of American cheese, make sure to read the manufacturer’s label at the time of purchase. American cheeses come with best before/ best by dates. These dates do not mean that your American cheese will expire past the date.
However, it only indicates the period up to which your American cheese will retain its best quality. You can still make use of your American cheese past the best before dates. But their quality will start declining.
Unopened packets of American cheese can be stored in their original packaging. However, whether you save unopened or opened American cheeses, make sure to store them in the refrigerator at all times.
Opened or unopened American cheeses have a shelf life of about two to three weeks past their best before dates. If you want further to extend your American cheese shelf life, you also have the option to freeze it.
For freezing American cheese, make sure to wrap the cheese slices in plastic freezer wraps or aluminum foil before putting them in the freezer bags.
Frozen American cheese will last up to eight months past its best before date. If you keep your cheese frozen at 0 degree Fahrenheit at all times, the cheese will become safe for consumption indefinitely.
Once you thaw the frozen American cheese, it will last for another three to four days in the fridge. Thawed American cheese tastes best when cooked with soups, casseroles, sauces, or any other sweet or savory dishes.
How to Tell if American Cheese is Bad? American Cheese Shelf life!
You don’t need to be a cheesemonger to tell if your American cheese has gone bad. You can easily figure it out with the help of your senses.
All you have to do is check some signs of spoilage, smell it, or taste it a little to tell if it is time to toss out your American cheese.
Since American cheeses are usually yellow or white in color, you may not notice any changes in color. But look out for any development of mold on the surface.
Molds can appear in different colors – white, orange, red, or blue. If you find any, discard the entire cheese.
Along with colored molds, you may also see some signs of slimy molds or holes on the cheese. These are clear signs that your cheese has turned bad.
The next thing you can do to check if your American cheese has turned bad is by taking in a good whiff. If the cheese has an off smell or smells kind of sour, then your cheese has probably gone rancid.
Another thing you can do to check the quality of your American cheese if by tasting it. However, make sure to keep this as your last resort and only taste a tiny bit of it.
If the cheese has gone bad, it will have an unusual, off-taste. If it does, just toss the entire cheese out.
Unlike soft cheeses like cream cheese and brie cheese, American cheese lasts for a long time.
So it shouldn’t be an issue when it comes to storing it for a long time if you keep it correctly. Just make sure to store the cheese in the refrigerator at all times, and you’re good to go.
You can use the delicious cheese and come up with your own recipes. Whether you want to eat the cheese alone or add it to your pasta, salads, pizzas, or bacon, American cheese will definitely add a flavor of its own to enhance your dishes. Also, you can quickly melt it and use it as toppings or dips.
Here are some scrumptious American cheese recipes to get you started.