How Long Can American Cheese Sit Out? (Explained!)

American cheese is a fantastic choice for making sandwiches, and that’s not only due to its taste and texture. Also, when you’re making sandwiches, the cheese you’re using has to be left out of the fridge for a while, and it is, therefore, very convenient that American cheese doesn’t spoil quickly!

So long can American cheese sit out? According to the safety guidelines by the USDA, no perishable food, including American cheese, can sit out for more than two hours. However, in real life, American cheese can last even a few days without refrigeration.

But this was just to put it briefly; don’t worry, though, everything you need to know will be uncovered in this article.

So without any further delay, let’s just get started.

How Long Can American Cheese Sit OutPin

Does American cheese need to be refrigerated? 

Yes, American cheese needs to be refrigerated since leaving it out of the fridge can make it dangerous to eat just in a short while, at least in the opinion of the USDA. But on the other hand, when you put it into the fridge, American cheese can stay good for even as long as three weeks.

How long can American cheese be unrefrigerated?

According to what the United States Department of Agriculture says, American cheese can be left out unrefrigerated for only two hours before being dangerous to eat. However, this recommendation goes for every perishable food, and American cheese should usually be able to stay good unrefrigerated for much longer, maybe even a few days in some cases.

With that being said, though, it doesn’t mean that it is recommended not to refrigerate it – quite the contrary, putting it into the fridge is a sage thing to do, this just means that it doesn’t matter that much if you forget it sitting out on the counter for a while.

Can American cheese be left out overnight?

As we have explained above, American cheese cannot turn bad for quite a while, even on its own, no matter what the USDA says. Because of that, American cheese can be left out overnight since it should not spoil for at least two days of sitting out.

Does Kraft American cheese go bad if not refrigerated?

No, Kraft American cheese doesn’t go bad if not refrigerated, even though the USDA would disagree – their recommendations regarding perishable food are simply a little bit out of place with Kraft American cheese, and you, therefore, don’t have to worry about leaving it out.

How do you know if American cheese is bad?

To tell if American cheese is bad, look for color, texture, and smell changes. If there are any weird stains on it or any disgusting smell coming from it, you should immediately throw the cheese away because it’s most likely spoiled.

How do you store American cheese?

Even though we have mentioned above, American cheese doesn’t require refrigeration, that doesn’t mean putting it into the fridge is not recommended. On the contrary, putting your American cheese into the refrigerator is simply needed if you want it to stay in good shape.

How do you keep American cheese fresh?

The most important thing to do to keep American cheese as fresh as possible is obviously to put it into the fridge. Additionally, it is also wise to make sure the cheese is tightly sealed not to absorb any foreign smell and flavor.

What happens if you eat bad American cheese?

As we hope you all already know, eating bad food is likely to make you sick. So if you eat bad American cheese, be prepared that you’re probably going to have a stomach ache, diarrhea, or vomiting. Due to that, it is always better to toss the American cheese out if you have any worries it might be spoiled.


Although the United States Department of Agriculture recommends not to leave American cheese on the counter for more than two hours, it should usually be able not to turn bad for quite a while.

Therefore, unlike with the vast majority of perishable food, you don’t have to worry about American cheese being spoiled after it sits out of the fridge for a while, not even if you left it out overnight.



Image credits – Canva

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