I’m not sure about you, but we eat a lot of tofu in our house. Lots! It’s a favourite due to its versatility and nutritional profile. Tofu is definitely a favourite ingredient among vegans and vegetarians – allowing us vegans to make our old favourites like no-egg mayo sandwiches and fajitas. Tofu is also known for its health benefits, such as being low in calories, rich in protein, and a good source of calcium and iron.
Today I’ll be exploring the common question “does tofu go bad?”
Tofu is a perishable food item that can go bad if not stored properly or consumed within a certain timeframe. Therefore, it is important to understand the shelf life and safety of tofu to ensure that it is safe to consume and to avoid any food-borne illnesses.
Does Tofu Go Bad?
In short, yes, it’s almost certain that at some point your tofu go mad.
Addressing Common Misconceptions About Tofu Expiration
There are many misconceptions about tofu expiration, such as the belief that tofu doesn’t go bad or that it can be consumed past its expiration date. However, like any other food, tofu has a shelf life and can go bad if not stored properly or consumed within a certain timeframe.
One common misconception is that tofu can be consumed raw, even if it has gone bad. However, consuming bad tofu can lead to food poisoning and other health problems. Therefore, it is important to understand the signs of bad tofu and to discard any tofu that is no longer fresh.
Explaining the Factors That Affect Tofu’s Shelf Life
Several factors can affect tofu’s shelf life, including the type of tofu, storage conditions, and expiration date.
- Type of Tofu: There are two main types of tofu – refrigerated and shelf-stable. Refrigerated tofu is typically sold in water and has a shorter shelf life than shelf-stable tofu, which can be stored at room temperature until opened. However, once opened, both types of tofu should be stored in the refrigerator.
- Storage Conditions: Proper storage is crucial for maintaining the freshness of tofu. Tofu should always be kept in a sealed container or covered in water and stored in the refrigerator. Additionally, tofu should be consumed within 3-5 days of opening or before its expiration date, whichever comes first.
- Expiration Date: Tofu typically has a shelf life of 1-2 weeks, depending on the type of tofu and the storage conditions. It is important to check the expiration date before consuming tofu, as consuming expired tofu can lead to food-borne illness.
In addition to these factors, the quality of tofu can also be affected by exposure to heat, light, and air. Therefore, it is important to handle tofu carefully and to store it properly to ensure that it stays fresh for as long as possible.
How Long Does Tofu Last?
Unopened Tofu Shelf Life
- Refrigerated vs. Shelf-Stable Tofu: The shelf life of unopened tofu varies depending on the type of tofu. Refrigerated tofu typically has a shorter shelf life of around 1-2 weeks, while shelf-stable tofu can last for several months if stored properly.
- Length of Shelf Life for Each Type of Tofu: Refrigerated tofu should be consumed before its expiration date or within 1-2 weeks of purchase, whichever comes first. Shelf-stable tofu can last for several months if stored properly in a cool, dry place before being opened. However, it is important to check the expiration date before consuming, as shelf-stable tofu can also go bad if stored for too long.
Opened Tofu Shelf Life
- Storing Tofu After Opening: Once opened, tofu should be stored in a sealed container or covered in water and stored in the refrigerator. Tofu that has been left out at room temperature for more than two hours should be discarded, as bacteria can grow quickly in moist environments like tofu.
- How Long Tofu Lasts in the Fridge and Freezer: After opening, tofu should be consumed within 3-5 days, depending on the type of tofu and storage conditions. Freezing tofu is also an option for extending its shelf life, with frozen tofu lasting for up to 5 months in the freezer. However, frozen tofu may have a slightly altered texture and flavour once thawed.
It is important to note that the shelf life of tofu can vary depending on several factors, including the type of tofu, storage conditions, and expiration date. Always check the expiration date before consuming tofu and discard any tofu that has gone bad, as consuming bad tofu can lead to food-borne illness.
Signs of Bad Tofu
How to Tell if Uncooked Tofu Has Gone Bad
- Visual Cues: Tofu that has gone bad may have noticeable changes in appearance, such as discolouration, mould, or a slimy or fuzzy texture. Discolouration can be seen as brown or black spots on the tofu, while mould may appear as white or green spots on the surface.
- Smell and Texture: Tofu that has gone bad may have an unpleasant odour or sour smell, indicating bacterial growth. The texture may also be slimy or mushy instead of firm and slightly spongy.
How to Tell if Cooked Tofu Has Gone Bad
- Visual Cues: Cooked tofu that has gone bad may also have noticeable changes in appearance, such as discolouration, mould, or a slimy texture. Discolouration can be seen as brown or black spots on the tofu, while mould may appear as white or green spots on the surface.
- Smell and Taste: Cooked tofu that has gone bad may have an unpleasant odour or sour smell, indicating bacterial growth. The taste may also be off or unpleasant, with a sour or bitter flavour.
It is important to note that bad tofu can pose a health risk if consumed, as it can cause food-borne illness. If you are unsure whether your tofu has gone bad, it is best to err on the side of caution and discard it.