How Long Can Macaroni And Cheese Sit Out

How Long Can Macaroni And Cheese Sit Out

Macaroni is one of the delicious meals that most people will love to eat. You can use several recipes to make macaroni in different varieties. In this article, you will learn how long can macaroni and cheese sit out, which will help prevent it from spoiling.

When you cook macaroni and cheese, you can store it only for some time, but how about the unopened macaroni and cheese boxes? Since macaroni is cheap and available in all places, you can easily purchase this, and the cooking process is also simple.

Both adults and kids like to have macaroni for their dinner or breakfast. If you are wondering how long can macaroni and cheese sit out so that it will retain its taste at room temperature, then you can know in detail by reading this article.

If you don’t store macaroni and cheese properly, it may go bad, and you will have to dump it in the waste, so it is necessary to know the storage methods and how long macaroni and cheese can last sit out.

You might purchase mac and cheese in bulk, and when it is sitting in the storage cupboard for a longer time, you may wonder whether it will be good to consume.

Since cheese is the dairy product used in meals, you will not be able to store the food at room temperature for longer.

Consuming mac and cheese freshly when cooked will be delicious, but sometime you might be busy to prepare it often so that packets will be outside for long. Will this ruin the taste of the meal? This is a question that people frequently ask and if you also have the same confusion, then continue reading the article.

How Long Can Macaroni And Cheese Sit Out

You will check the product’s cost and expiry date when you purchase any food item. Similarly, you will find a best before date on the packet of macaroni and cheese. If you get this product in the sale, you may get it for a lower price, but the expiry date might be too close.

Although the expiry date is printed on the packet, it will be safe to consume macaroni and cheese even after one to two months. When you purchase a recently manufactured macaroni and cheese, you will store it for years in a cool, dry place since it will have a longer shelf life.

On the other hand, if you are wondering how long can macaroni and cheese sit out when you cook, then this will depend on the quality of macaroni and cheese you are using. After cooking the mac and cheese, it is best to consume it fresh and sooner, while leaving it for more than two hours will turn out dangerous as this help the bacteria to breed.

Between 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, the food poisoning bacteria will start to grow, which will spoil your mac and cheese sitting on the table for more than two hours. Hence it is necessary to know how to store the leftover mac and cheese.

How Can You Store Macaroni And Cheese

You can store the leftover mac and cheese in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for some time. It would be best to put the mac and cheese in an air-tight container and then place it in the refrigerator. Since the fridge temperature will be below 40 degrees Fahrenheit growth of bacteria will be very low.

By storing this way, you can keep the meal for about three to five days. Also, you must make sure that you store the leftover mac and cheese sooner without any delay.

If you want to keep the meal longer, place it in the freezer. When you store mac and cheese in the freezer, you will have to thaw before consuming it, so placing it overnight in the fridge or microwaving it will help to thaw the meal.

You can also thaw mac and cheese by sealing it in a plastic bag and submerging it in cold water.

You don’t have to worry about storing boxed mac and cheese as it can stay at room temperature for a long time.

How Do You Know Whether The Your Mac And Cheese Is Bad

If you are confused about whether it is still fresh or bad, the following factors will help you tell whether it is bad.

  • Unpleasant Smell

You will get an awful smell when mac and cheese sit on the dining table for an extended time. Usually, you will get the smell of creamy cheese in a freshly cooked mac and cheese. If the meal is bad, it will produce the smell of fish, which is not appealing.

Most people will suggest disposing of the mac and cheese if you get this smell, but it is up to you to decide depending on the time you kept it and the extent of the damage.

  • The Difference In The Taste

You might know how delicious the freshly cooked and served mac and cheese will be. Most people often enjoy the taste of it. If you remember that you left the leftover mac and cheese on the table, and if you don’t get any awful smell, check on the taste to ensure whether it is safe to consume.

Bad mac and cheese will taste sour, but consuming it will not make you sick if the taste changes slightly. In case it tastes overly sour, then better to avoid consuming it.

  • Mold Formation

The room temperature will promote breading of poisoning bacteria on your mac and cheese, which will result in mold formation. If you see mold in your meal, it is bad; hence you must throw it out.


You might know when the cooked mac and cheese is going bad. So how will you identify if the boxed mac and cheese is bad or not? Even after exceeding the best before date, you will be able to cook and consume this product, but if you see any discoloration in the cheese powder, then it is better to avoid eating it.

If you don’t store the boxed mac and cheese properly, then due to moisture, you may see molds forming. Therefore, you will not be able to cook and eat it.

We hope this article about the shelf life of mac and cheese was helpful.

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