Does Kraft Mac and Cheese Expire or Go Bad?

Kraft macaroni and cheese is always the top choice if you prefer something that’s a breeze to find and prepare. For this reason, storing it in your pantry is a brilliant idea.

But how can you ensure that the Kraft Mac and Cheese are safe to consume after prolonged storage in your pantry?

Does Kraft Mac and Cheese expire or go bad? What if it does?

A few factors that could affect the safety of consumption of your Kraft Mac and Cheese include its expiration date, whether the box is properly sealed or not, and where you’ve stored it.

Explore the rest of the article below to determine if Kraft Mac and Cheese goes terribly and the signs that tell if it’s expired.

How Can I Store Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Correctly?

Kraft Macaroni

You can keep uncooked packs of Kraft Mac and Cheese in your pantry, where you usually store other dry food. Be sure that you store it in a dry and cool storage place.

On the other hand, you need to treat your cooked Mac and Cheese with special treatment. It’s essential to store it in the fridge or freezer and keep it in an airtight canister.

It’s vital to ensure that the canister’s lid is tightly sealed so that you can keep it from the foul smell, moisture, and air.

You can safely consume your frozen Mac and Cheese for up to three days. Meanwhile, you can place it in an airtight bowl (tightly sealed) and store it in the freezer to extend its shelf life.

Your Mac and Cheese can remain in the freezer for one or two months; however, you must keep a constant low temperature.

Telltale Indications that Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is Expired

Dry Mac and Cheese are unlikely to go wrong if you ensure they’re correctly sealed in airtight canisters or packs.

Nonetheless, the case would be different if the package is damaged, where moisture and air are likely to enter.

This condition can make the product unsafe to consume even before its expiration date.

Here are some indications that the Mac and Cheese are expired:

Soggy Texture

It’s normal to see a change in your Mac and cheese consistency. The product tends to dry out due to reheating.

However, if you notice that it features a watery or soggy texture, it’s time to dispose of it.

Mushy Macaroni

A few factors that can alter the texture of Mac and Cheese are reheating and freezing.

Reheating it in an oven is ideal, but the macaroni usually turns out mushy, which might result from moisture drying out.

Meanwhile, reheating Mac and Cheese on the stove can also dry it out.

Unpleasant Taste


One way of quickly telling that it’s time to discard your Mac and Cheese is its sour taste. Therefore, throw it out if you notice a significant difference in how it tastes.

Stinky Smell

Your Mac and Cheese might be contaminated by other food in the refrigerator if you already notice a slightly strange smell. 

An odd smell is an evident sign that it’s not safe to consume anymore.


Inconstant temperature and the other food ingredients in the freezer can affect the color of your Mac and Cheese.

This condition is likelier to happen when you don’t put the Mac and Cheese in an airtight canister and store it in the freezer.

It won’t taste fresh and delectable anymore when you reheat it; hence, it’s best to discard the Mac and Cheese.

Rotten Cheese

If you feel a bitter taste and smell of cheese, you should discard your Mac and Cheese to avoid foodborne illness.


Your Mac and Cheese is expired once you observe some lumps inside the cheesy packet or dried macaroni.

This condition commonly emerges when the ingredients inside are not in the correct order.


You’re likelier to notice some molds when you leave the Mac and Cheese bowl inside the refrigerator and leave it there for three to four days.

You must discard the molded and stinky Mac and Cheese immediately to avoid contaminating other types of food inside the fridge.

Moist Powdered Cheese

Check if the macaroni and Cheese packet is moist or lumpy. If yes, do not consume it anymore and dispose of it immediately.

RELATED POST: How Many Calories Are in Mac and Cheese?  

How Can I Determine if the Kraft Mac and Cheese Have Gone Terribly?

Kraft Mac and Cheese

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to pinpoint the physical signs that indicate a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese has gone wrong. The reason is that dry pasta in a packet is preserved to last for an extended period.

Nevertheless, it’s easy to determine if the cooked macaroni and cheese go wrong because it will produce a bad smell, taste unpleasant, become moldy, and discolor.

You can ensure that your macaroni and cheese is not spoiled if all its ingredients are intact, dry, and tightly sealed.

However, if you observe that the packet is unsealed or damaged, it’s likelier for moisture to penetrate, resulting in mold formation.

Furthermore, the pasta will start getting soft, soggy, lumpy, and clumpy. Please note that if you leave your macaroni and cheese unused for an extended time, expect its potency and flavor to deteriorate; hence, throwing it out is safer.

And, since the packet comes with some dairy additives, such as whey and milk powder, the flavor can decline even when the pasta remains the same.

Generally speaking, boxed or dried pasta products are unlikely to spoil sooner because they’re classified as dry goods.

This conveys that so long as the packet is tightly sealed and undamaged, you can safely consume it up to its recommended shelf life, roughly two to three years.

While it won’t taste delicious as expected, the pasta will still be edible and won’t put your health to risk.

Final Thoughts

To wrap up, the answer to the question, “Does Kraft Mac and Cheese expire or go bad?” mainly depends on several factors.

However, you’re most likely to enjoy your macaroni and cheese up to its prescribed shelf life as long as the packaging remains tightly sealed and undamaged.

It’s also critical to follow the proper storage guides discussed above to ensure that your pasta is safe and edible, thus preventing food poisoning.

More importantly, carefully check the expiration date and signs of spoilage of your macaroni and cheese before serving it.

Remember, it’s better to discard the product once you notice a foul smell, unpleasant taste, molds and lumps, and discoloration in your macaroni and cheese.

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Hi, I love to cook! I have been passionate about cooking for as long as I can remember. My favorite foods are Italian, Mexican, and Indian. I'm not afraid to share my love of cooking with my family, friends & the whole world.

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