Kraft American Cheese is a refrigerator staple, available in a pinch for those looking to make a grilled cheese sandwich or melt a slice onto some apple pie (hey, don’t knock it till you try it). And while a package of singles usually doesn’t hang around long enough to spoil, it got us wondering: how long do they last for before going rancid?
The ingredients listing for Kraft Singles includes milk, milk proteins, emulsifiers and stabilizers, colorings, and preservatives including sorbic acid, an antimicrobial agent that inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold, and the like. Bacterial growth is the main reasons why cheeses go bad, so American cheese will hang around in your fridge for quite some time; the expiration date printed on packages is generally about five to six months after the cheese is produced, but you’ll probably be safe using that just as a guideline; toss the cheese once it starts looking dried-out.
So while it might be burning a hole in your refrigerator, there’s no need to rush through that pack of cheese. All those preservatives make sure that it won’t spoil any time soon.