How Long Does Canned Cheese Last: Shelf Life and Storage Tips

Canned cheese is a popular item in many households, especially for those who are always on the go. This versatile food item is perfect for quick sandwiches, mac and cheese, or even as a snack. However, the question on everyone’s mind is – how long does canned cheese last?

Well, the shelf life of canned cheese depends on how it was manufactured, stored, and handled. If stored properly, unopened canned cheese can last up to 10 years. However, once the can is opened, the cheese should be consumed within a week or so. It’s important to check the expiration date before purchasing canned cheese, as this will give you an idea of how long you have before it goes bad.

Canned cheese is an affordable and convenient option for those who are always on the go. It’s easy to pack for a camping trip or to have on hand for a quick lunch. However, it’s important to be mindful of its shelf life to avoid any health risks. By storing it properly and consuming it within a reasonable timeframe, you can enjoy the delicious taste of canned cheese for several years.

Types of Canned Cheese Available in the Market

When it comes to canned cheese, there are a variety of options available in the market. Some popular types of canned cheese include:

  • American Cheese:
  • American Cheese is a popular variety of canned cheese and is known for its mild flavor and creamy texture. It is often used in sandwiches, burgers, and as a topping for nachos and baked potatoes.

  • Cheddar Cheese:
  • Cheddar Cheese is a sharp and tangy variety of canned cheese that is often used in soups, casseroles, and as a topping for baked potatoes. It is a popular variety of cheese and is loved by cheese enthusiasts all around the world.

  • Pepper Jack Cheese:
  • Pepper Jack Cheese is a spicy variety of canned cheese that is flavored with jalapeno peppers. It is often used in Mexican dishes and is a great addition to quesadillas, tacos, and enchiladas.

Shelf life of different varieties of canned cheese

If you are a cheese lover, you might be wondering how long canned cheese lasts for. Fortunately, canned cheese has a long shelf life, especially when compared to its natural cheese counterparts. This is because canned cheese is usually made with preservatives that help increase its shelf life. Here are some of the shelf life estimations for different varieties of canned cheese:

Canned cheese shelf life by variety:

  • American canned cheese: Up to 5 years
  • Cheddar canned cheese: Up to 10 years
  • Swiss canned cheese: Up to 10 years

Factors affecting canned cheese shelf life:

The shelf life of canned cheese may vary depending on several factors, such as:

  • The amount of preservatives used in the canning process
  • The storage temperature of the canned cheese (ideal temperature is between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • The presence of dents or damage to the can, which can cause air to enter and spoil the cheese faster

Canned cheese storage tips:

If you want to extend the shelf life of canned cheese, you should follow these storage tips:

  • Store canned cheese in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight
  • Avoid storing canned cheese in high humidity areas as it can cause rusting of the can
  • Make sure the can is intact and free from any damage before storing the canned cheese

Canned cheese shelf life comparison chart:

Here is a table that compares the shelf life of canned cheese to other cheese varieties:

Type of Cheese Shelf Life
Fresh Cheese Up to 2 weeks
Semi-soft Cheese Up to 3 months
Semi-hard Cheese Up to 6 months
Hard Cheese Up to 10 years
Canned Cheese Up to 10 years

As you can see, canned cheese has a longer shelf life than most natural cheese varieties, making it a convenient and practical choice for those who want to stock up on cheese.

Factors that affect the shelf life of canned cheese

Canned cheese is a convenient and long-lasting option for those who love cheese. However, just like any other food item, the shelf life of canned cheese can vary depending on different factors. In this article, we will discuss some of the important factors that affect the shelf life of canned cheese.

  • Storage conditions: Storing canned cheese properly is crucial for maintaining its quality and extending its shelf life. The ideal storage temperature for canned cheese is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Always keep the canned cheese in a cool, dry and dark place with low humidity to prevent the growth of bacteria and spoilage.
  • Quality of cheese: The quality of cheese used in the canning process can directly impact the longevity of the canned cheese. Cheese with high moisture content or soft texture can be difficult to can and may result in a shorter shelf life.
  • Type of canning process: The type of canning process used to preserve the cheese can also influence its shelf life. Cheese that is pressure canned tends to have a longer shelf life than cheese preserved through a boiling-water canning process. Additionally, canned cheese that is vacuum-sealed has a longer shelf life than those that are not.

Take note of these factors to ensure that your canned cheese stays fresh and safe to eat. Furthermore, if you have any doubts about the condition of the canned cheese, it’s better to discard it than risk food poisoning.

Here’s a table summarizing the estimated shelf life of canned cheese based on the storage temperature and canning process:

Storage Temperature Canning Process Shelf Life
Below 50°F (10°C) Pressure canning 2-5 years
Above 50°F (10°C) Pressure canning 1-2 years
Below 50°F (10°C) Boiling-water canning 6-18 months
Above 50°F (10°C) Boiling-water canning 3-12 months

It’s important to note that the shelf life of canned cheese can still vary based on the quality of cheese and storage conditions. Always check the expiration date and quality of the canned cheese before consuming it to ensure that it’s safe to consume.

Proper Storage Techniques for Canned Cheese

Canned cheese is a great addition to any pantry. However, proper storage is essential to ensure that the cheese retains its flavor and texture for an extended period. Here are some tips to help you ensure that your canned cheese stays fresh for as long as possible.

  • Store in a cool and dry place: Always store canned cheese in a cool and dry place. Heat and humidity can cause the cheese to spoil quickly and develop an unpleasant flavor and texture.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight: Exposure to sunlight can cause the cheese to melt and spoil, affecting both its taste and appearance.
  • Avoid storing in the can: Once you open the can, it is advisable to transfer the cheese to an airtight container. This will protect the cheese from exposure to moisture and air, which can cause it to spoil.

In addition to the tips mentioned above, it is crucial to pay attention to the expiration date. Most canned cheese products have a shelf life of 2-5 years from the date of manufacture. However, this can vary depending on the brand and storage conditions.

To help you understand better, we have created a table that outlines the shelf life of some popular canned cheese brands:

Brand Shelf Life (Unopened) Storage Conditions
Kraft Easy Cheese 2 years Cool and dry place
Cheddar Cheese Powder by Hoosier Hill Farm 3 years Cool and dry place
Augason Farms Cheese Blend Powder 5 years Cool and dry place

By following the above storage techniques, you can extend the shelf life of your canned cheese and ensure that it stays fresh and tasty for an extended period.

How to tell if canned cheese has gone bad

Canned cheese is a convenient option for those who want to add cheesy flavor to their food without the short shelf life of fresh cheeses. However, like any other type of food, canned cheese can go bad over time. Here are some tips on how to tell if your canned cheese has gone bad:

  • Check the expiration date – the first step in determining if your canned cheese is still good is to look for the expiration date. If it has passed, it’s best to discard the cheese.
  • Visual cues – if you notice any bulges, leaks, cracks or any other deformities on the can, it’s best to throw it away. These can be signs of bacterial infection or other issues that can cause the cheese to spoil.
  • Bad odor – if you open the can and notice a sour or foul smell, it’s likely that the canned cheese has gone bad. Trust your senses and discard it.

To avoid the risk of consuming spoiled canned cheese, it’s important to be mindful of these indicators. Keep in mind that even if the canned cheese looks and smells fine, it’s still best to check for any of the above signs before consuming.

If you’re still unsure, you can also consult the chart of recommended shelf life for various canned cheese products:

Canned Cheese Product Recommended Shelf Life (Unopened)
Cheese spread 1 year
Cheese sauce 1 year
Cheese dip 1 year
Cheese product slices 6 months

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your canned cheese remains fresh and safe to consume for longer periods of time.

Safety concerns regarding canned cheese consumption

Canned cheese is a popular way to enjoy the convenience and satisfaction of cheese without worrying about it spoiling quickly. However, there are a few safety concerns that need to be addressed before consuming canned cheese.

  • Bacterial contamination: Canned cheese products can sometimes be contaminated with bacteria, especially if they have been stored improperly or have exceeded their shelf life. This can lead to foodborne illnesses such as listeria and salmonella.
  • Preservatives and artificial ingredients: Some canned cheese products may contain preservatives and artificial ingredients that can be harmful to health in large amounts. It is important to read the label and choose products with natural ingredients if possible.
  • High sodium content: Canned cheese products are known to have high sodium content, which can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems if consumed in excess. It is important to monitor sodium intake and limit consumption of canned cheese to a moderate amount.

It is important to take safety precautions when consuming canned cheese to avoid any potential health risks. Here are a few tips:

– Check the expiration date before consuming canned cheese. Do not eat products that have expired.

– Store canned cheese in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat.

– Do not consume canned cheese that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.

Canned Cheese Type Shelf Life (Unopened) Storage Tips
Cheese sauce Up to 18 months Store in a cool, dry place
Cheese spread Up to 12 months Refrigerate after opening
Cheese cubes Up to 2 years Store in a cool, dry place

In conclusion, canned cheese can be a safe and convenient option for enjoying cheese. However, it is important to be aware of potential safety concerns and take necessary precautions to avoid any health risks.

Recipes that use canned cheese as an ingredient

Canned cheese can be used in a variety of recipes to add some richness and depth of flavor. Here are some creative ways to incorporate canned cheese into your cooking:

  • Mac and Cheese: This classic dish can be made with canned cheese for added convenience. Simply prepare your macaroni noodles according to the package instructions, and stir in a can of cheese sauce for a creamy and delicious version.
  • Cheese dip: Canned cheese can also be used to make a tasty dip for your next party or gathering. Simply heat up the cheese sauce on the stove or in the microwave, and serve with chips, pretzels, or vegetables.
  • Cheeseburgers: For a twist on the classic burger, add a dollop of canned cheese onto your patty during the last few minutes of cooking. The cheese will melt and create a gooey and flavorful addition to your meal.

If you’re looking for some more creative ways to use canned cheese, consider trying some of these recipes:

Cheesy Garlic Fries:


  • Frozen French fries
  • Canned cheese
  • Minced garlic
  • Chopped parsley
1. Bake frozen French fries according to package instructions.
2. While the fries are baking, combine canned cheese and minced garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat.
3. Cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese is melted and the garlic is fragrant.
4. Drizzle the cheese sauce over the cooked fries, and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Cheesy Broccoli Soup:


  • Frozen broccoli florets
  • Chicken broth
  • Canned cheese
  • Heavy cream
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add frozen broccoli florets and chicken broth, and simmer until the broccoli is tender.
  3. Blend the soup until smooth using an immersion blender or regular blender.
  4. Stir in canned cheese, heavy cream, salt, and pepper until everything is heated through and the cheese is melted.
  5. Enjoy hot with some crusty bread on the side.

These recipes are just a few examples of the many ways that canned cheese can be used in your cooking. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different dishes and flavors to find your own personal favorite combinations.

Comparison of canned cheese with fresh cheese

Canned cheese is a long-lasting option for those who want to have cheese on hand for emergencies or extended travel. However, when compared to fresh cheese, there are some notable differences.

  • Canned cheese typically has a longer shelf life than fresh cheese, with some brands lasting up to 25 years.
  • Fresh cheese has a richer flavor and texture than canned cheese, which can often have a processed taste.
  • Canned cheese is often more convenient to use as it doesn’t require refrigeration until it’s opened, making it an ideal choice for camping or outdoor adventures.

Another factor to consider when comparing canned cheese to fresh cheese is the nutritional content. Fresh cheese is often higher in protein and calcium, while canned cheese may have added preservatives and sodium to ensure a longer shelf life.

But how long does canned cheese actually last compared to fresh cheese? Let’s take a closer look at the shelf life of canned cheese:

Type of Canned Cheese Shelf Life (unopened) Shelf Life (opened)
Cheddar Cheese Spread 5-10 years 2 weeks
Processed Cheese Food 5+ years 1-2 weeks
Cheese Sauce 4-5 years 1-2 weeks

It’s important to note that while canned cheese can last for several years, it may not taste as fresh or have the same texture as freshly made cheese. It’s also important to follow proper storage and handling instructions to ensure the longevity of canned cheese.

In conclusion, canned cheese can be a good option for long-term food storage or outdoor adventures, but it may not have the same flavor or nutritional value as fresh cheese. When choosing between the two, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences.

Health benefits and drawbacks of canned cheese

Canned cheese is a popular choice among hikers, campers, and preppers due to its long shelf life and convenience. However, it is essential to understand the health benefits and drawbacks before incorporating it into your diet.

  • Benefits: Canned cheese is a good source of calcium, which is essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. It also provides protein, which is necessary for building and repairing tissues in the body.
  • Drawbacks: Canned cheese can be high in sodium and saturated fat, which can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease. Additionally, some brands may contain preservatives and additives that can have negative health effects.

To make a more informed decision about incorporating canned cheese into your diet, it is essential to read the labels carefully and understand the nutritional information.

Here is a breakdown of the nutritional information for a popular brand of canned cheese:

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Calories 80
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 20mg
Sodium 170mg
Total Carbohydrate 1g
Protein 4g

It is crucial to remember that canned cheese should be consumed in moderation and should not be relied on as a primary source of nutrition. However, when used in conjunction with a balanced diet and exercise, canned cheese can be a convenient and tasty addition to your food supply.

Recommended brands of canned cheese.

When it comes to canned cheese, there are a few brands that stand out from the rest. These brands have been providing high-quality, long-lasting canned cheese for years, and are trusted by many consumers. Here are ten recommended brands of canned cheese:

  • Cheddar Easy Cheese
  • Nacho Cheese Sauce by La Preferida
  • Kraft Easy Cheese
  • Cheez Whiz
  • Nacho Cheese Sauce by Chef-mate
  • Bear Creek Cheddar Cheese Powder
  • Trader Joe’s Cheddar Cheese with Hatch Chiles
  • Augason Farms Cheddar Cheese Blend Powder
  • Hormel Compleats Cheesy Macaroni
  • Campbell’s Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup

Each of these brands has its own unique qualities and flavors, so it’s important to decide which one suits your needs best. Some are great for snacking, while others are better for cooking. It’s important to read the label carefully to ensure the product meets your needs and preferences.

FAQs: How long does canned cheese last?

Q: Does canned cheese have an expiration date?
A: Yes, canned cheese has an expiration date just like any other food item, and it should be consumed before its expiry date mentioned on the can.

Q: How long will canned cheese last after opening it?
A: After opening, canned cheese can last anywhere from one to four weeks, depending on the type of cheese and storage conditions.

Q: Does the storage temperature affect the shelf life of canned cheese?
A: Yes, the storage temperature does play a significant role in the shelf life of canned cheese. It is recommended to store it at a temperature below 30 degrees Celsius.

Q: Can you freeze canned cheese?
A: It is not recommended to freeze canned cheese as it can alter the texture and flavor of the cheese.

Q: What are the signs of spoiled canned cheese?
A: Signs of spoiled cheese include a bad odor, off-color, and a visible mold formation.

Q: Can eating spoiled canned cheese make you sick?
A: Yes, consuming spoiled canned cheese can lead to food poisoning, which can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

Q: What is the best method to store canned cheese?
A: The best way to store canned cheese is to keep it in a cool, dry place at a temperature below 30 degrees Celsius. It is recommended to refrigerate after opening.

Closing Thoughts

Now that you know how long canned cheese lasts and how to store it, you can enjoy this delicious food item without worrying about its shelf life. Remember to always check the expiration date before purchasing canned cheese, and don’t forget to store it correctly to maximize its shelf life. Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you again soon!