Tofu is one of the healthiest alternatives to meats, which makes it a staple in the vegan and vegetarian diet. Adding tofu to soups and pasta is also a great way to boost the protein content of these food items.
If you are a tofu lover, you may be tempted to stock up on tofu. After all, it is quite versatile, and you can use it in a wide array of dishes. Even though tofu has a stable in the food industry for years, some people still have a few questions about it, particularly this — does tofu go bad?
Can tofu go bad? Does tofu expire? These are the most common tofu questions that we aim to answer in this article.
Recommended Reading: How to Steam Tofu Like A Pro with These Two Recipes
Does Tofu Go Bad?
To answer this issue as frankly and straightly as possible — yes, tofu can go bad. Just like most food items, tofu has an expiration date too.
Even if you have followed the steps on how to store tofu, there will still come to the point that it will expire. That is why it is important that you keep on reading this article because we have all the information you need right here.
How Long Does Tofu Last?
Now that you know that tofu goes bad, the next question that we have to address is — when does tofu go bad? Well, the answer here depends on two things — the way you have stored your tofu or if it is unopened or not.
Continue reading to know when an unopened, refrigerated, and frozen tofu may go bad. We have also thrown a few storage tips below to help you extend the shelf life and freshness of your tofu.
- Unopened Tofu
If the tofu has not yet been opened, take a look at the manufacturing date stated in the packaging. The unopened tofu can still be safe for consumption for 2 to 3 months after the stated manufacturing date.
- Frozen Tofu
If the tofu has been placed in a freezer, it can last for months to years. But as the rule of thumb, the maximum freezing time of tofu would be 3 to 4 months.
Storage Tips: When freezing the tofu, drain the water from it (also called pressing tofu — You can use a press tofu for this task: https://nomealnohealth.com/best-tofu-press/). Afterwards, cover it in plastic and place it in freezer-safe container or bag.
Before using the frozen tofu in your recipes, make sure to place down in the refrigerator and thaw it overnight. Once you have thawed the tofu, it is not a good idea to refreeze it again as it will already be exposed to oxygen, water, heat, and sunlight that may change its consistency and affect its freshness.
- Refrigerated Tofu
If the tofu is already opened and is placed in the refrigerator, it can only last for 3 to 5 days.
Storage Tips: After you have opened the tofu, you can transfer the leftover to an airtight container and fill it with fresh water. Every day, you should not forget to change the water inside the container to maintain the tofu’s freshness. Watch this video to know more.
- Cooked Tofu
If you have already prepared the tofu in a dish, it will last only as long as the fastest expiring ingredient in the recipe.
Storage Tips: Allow the dish to cool down a bit before transferring it in a tight container. Refrigerate it right away.
Can You Eat Expired Tofu?
The packaging of tofu products is often labeled with either a manufacturing date or sell or use by date. What you have to understand is that the use or sell by date is not the same with an expiration date.
If the tofu has been stored properly, you can still use it in your dishes even if the use or sell by date has passed.
But if the tofu is already showing signs of spoilage, consuming it may put your health at risk, so it is no longer recommended. A refrigerated tofu is usually stored with water and when it is left in the refrigerator for too long, it will be at risk of microbial degradation.
Because of this, a person who has consumed expired tofu may exhibit digestive issues as well as other symptoms that are similar to that of food poisoning.
How to Tell if Tofu Has Gone Bad?
To reduce your risk of eating expired tofu and experiencing the symptoms and dangers that come with it, you should learn how to tell if tofu is bad. Here are some tips to help you do that:
- Take a look at its appearance.
The first step that you should take when evaluating the condition of the tofu is to inspect its appearance. If the tofu is already discolored (yellowish) and already has molds in different areas, it is a telltale sign that the tofu has already gone bad.
You may also want to examine the texture of the tofu. If it has already curdled or it is no longer firm, it means that it is already past its prime condition.
- Smell the tofu.
Next step would be to check out the smell of the food item. If the tofu already gives off a strong, pungent and sour smell, it is best that you dispose of the item.
Did You Know? Aside from protein, tofu also contains a few other nutritional substances. Is carbohydrate one of them? Does tofu have carbs? This Is One Answer You Need to Know!
Does tofu go bad? The short and sweet answer to this is yes — it does go bad. But with proper storage techniques, you can be able to extend its shelf life.
Tofu is one of the healthiest food items in the market, but you can only maximize its health benefits if you consume it while it is still in its prime condition. If the tofu has been in your pantry or refrigerator for a long time, make sure to check for signs of spoilage to avoid experiencing the bad effects of consuming expired tofu.
Did you experience having expired tofu? If you did, please tell us about your experience in the comments section so we can get to have a better understanding of it!