expired tofu

Does Tofu Go Bad and Expire?

If you found an unopened vacuumed portion of tofu in the pantry and don’t know if it is suitable for consumption, we bring you leads on how long tofu lasts and tips on recognizing that it has expired.

All vegans and vegetarians are very familiar with this food, but a growing number of non-vegetarians use it in cooking as well. Especially if you are a fan of salads and want to spice them up a bit with an extra dose of protein, tofu will come in handy. It is a portion of healthy food and can be used in many recipes. This is one of the reasons why tofu lovers tend to stock up on this product at home, so they don’t run out.

But how long can tofu last in the pantry? And can it spoil at all if unopened? The shortest possible answer is yes, it can spoil, and it will certainly not be the best decision to eat bad tofu. We bring below how to recognize that the product has expired and the maximum expiration dates.

How Long Does Tofu Last?

Good storage conditions will certainly mean a lot for the longevity of tofu. But even the best conditions in the world will not ensure that your tofu lasts forever. Like any other food product, it has its own shelf life. Although it is difficult to make exact predictions, here are some guidelines you can follow.   

tofu shelf life

Unopened tofu

If your tofu is still factory packaged and intact, the best guideline would be to look at the deadline written on the package. You can roughly calculate that tofu is good for consumption for another two to three months after the expiration of that period. Of course, if you notice any signs of spoilage, throw the product in the trash regardless of the still valid deadline.    

Opened tofu

After opening, the tofu should be kept in the refrigerator, and refrigerated tofu would be best to consume it within five days. Fresh tofu that is homemade also lasts about 3-5 days in the fridge. After that, the product may be good for a few more days but open your eyes well to look for signs of spoilage.

Frozen tofu

You can freeze tofu for more extended storage. Although it can probably take significantly longer, it is recommended that you freeze the tofu for a maximum of four to five months.

Cooked tofu

Cooked tofu in dishes such as stir-fry, stew, soup etc… can last up to 3 days if storing properly in the fridge. Fried tofu can last a few days longer. Always allow the cooked dishes to cool down before placing in the refrigerator.

Can Tofu Go Bad?

Tofu is like any other food and will undoubtedly become inedible over time. We do not recommend joking about the consumption of spoiled tofu because it is one of the foods that can cause serious digestive problems. Here are some helpful tips on recognizing that a product should go in the trash instead of on a plate. 

How to tell if tofu is bad

Sign 1: Discoloration signs 

Any signs of discoloration mean that the product is defective. Usually, yellow spots appear primarily on the edges and possibly on the entire product. This is undoubtedly a sign that everything needs to be thrown in the trash.

Sign 2: Mold is present

Mold on any product is not a good thing. For tofu, this is especially true because we usually consume it without significant heat treatment. In this way, mold spores remain intact and can cause serious health problems.  

Sign 3: It became soft  

The texture is a very important indicator of the correctness of the product. Tofu is relatively firm at its best, so if you notice that the mass has become gooey and too soft, it is probably a sign that the shelf life has expired.

Sign 4: Weird Taste and Smell

Depending on the types of tofu such as storebought or homemade tofu, fresh or leftover tofu, the taste of tofu might vary. However, if you’re a regular tofu eater and you find the taste or smell of your tofu is off, it’s also a sign that it might already be spoiled.

What Is The Best Way To Store Tofu Properly? 

It is always important to store food properly if we want it to reach its maximum durability but also to preserve quality until it runs out. This is also the case with storing tofu, where poor environmental conditions can favor rapid spoilage and thus make the product unsafe for health.

Tip 1: Keep in dark and cool places

Colder and darker places are almost a universal recommendation for all foods. Rarely does food endure well in hot places and excessive exposure to light. So, choose a comfortable pantry temperature or a cooler corner of kitchen cabinets.  

Tip 2: Avoid messing with the packaging too much    

If the tofu is vacuumed, it is quite important that it stays that way until you decide to open it and consume it. If you allow the packaging to be damaged or air to reach the product, spoilage will occur at an instant rate.

Tip 3: Keep in a fridge after opening 

Always refrigerate tofu after opening and ideally spend it within four to five days max. It’s not advisable to keep it longer than that as it may show signs of spoilage soon.    

FAQs

Can I eat tofu past the expiration date?

If everything is in order with the packaging and the product has not been exposed to heat or sun, the product will likely be good for another two to three months after the expiration date. After that period, it is no longer advisable to use tofu. As a safety advice, we would suggest you not to eat expired tofu.

Will expired tofu make you sick?

If the product is spoiled, it will most likely cause some digestive problems for you. You can find signs of spoilage in our article.

How do I know tofu has gone bad?

You will first notice discoloration or yellowish spots that may appear on the surface. Also, any sign of mold is bad. Furthermore, the loss of a firm texture is usually a sign that the tofu is spoiled.   

Conclusion

Tofu is a widespread food that can be used in many recipes. It is usually a mandatory part of the diet for vegetarians, but others often use it due to its rich protein levels. 

While you may fall into the trap of creating stocks of tofu so you always have it on hand, the better advice is always to buy fresh quantities.

Packaged and unopened tofu can resist spoilage even after the expiration date of a few months, but be sure to watch out if you notice any signs that the tofu expiration date has passed.

Up next: Does soy sauce expire?

*image by bhofack2/depositphotos

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