If you’re averse to consuming meat, then chances are that you are a tofu lover. Tofu is an incredible meat substitute for veggie lovers and vegetarians. Made from soy, it has only about 80 calories per 3 ounces.
Now, you might have some tofu sitting in your refrigerator or have too much and wondering how long will it last? Does tofu go bad and will I be forced to toss it or can I preserve it?
Good questions, continue below for answers.
Does Tofu Go Bad?
Similar to dairy products, tofu will go bad. It also has a relatively short shelf life and is super prone to harmful bacteria that hastens spoilage.
Once you open tofu, there’s not much you can do to prevent it going bad, but you can probably slow down the process.
How Do You Tell If Tofu is Bad/Spoiled?
There are a couple signs that you can use to tell if tofu has gone bad and not fit to eat.
The Smell Check
Tofu that is freshly made will have a gentle and neutral scent. If you open a package of tofu and notice any unnatural or rancid odor, then you should not use it.
The Taste Test
Tofu has a neutral taste which makes it perfect for use in a variety of dishes. Tofu that has gone bad will have either a bitter or sour taste. Because tofu is not generally consumed raw, a taste test might not be effective as you would have already wasted time cooking a meal that’s not edible. A better test to try is the color test explained below.
Has The Color Changed?
Fresh tofu is a white or creaming color regardless of if it’s the hard or soft variety. When tofu goes off, it will become discolored, turning a slight yellow. It might also develop yellow spots throughout. If you notice any color changes, do not consume the tofu.
When buying tofu, always check the package for signs of bloating. If the package is bloated, that means that bacteria has multiplied on the inside creating a buildup of gases.
Another change in appearance is the growth of slime on the outside of the tofu. If you notice this, do not consume.
Spoiled tofu can also grow mold. Mold is detectable through the black, brown or green spotting that can be seen in the tofu.
Does Tofu Need to be Refrigerated After Opening?
Tofu is easily perishable, and as such you should definitely store it in the refrigerator. If you won’t be able to consume the tofu in a matter of days, then you can freeze it. Frozen tofu can last up to a year.
If you have a large block of tofu, you should cut it into smaller meal sized pieces before you freeze it. Wrap in cling wrap or place in Ziploc containers before placing it in the refrigerator.
How Long Does Tofu Last?
With unopened tofu, the expiration or best by date is generally a good guide for when spoilage begins to occur. That is usually within a few weeks after purchase.
Once you open the package, you should try to consume all the tofu in about 3 to 5 days.
Best Ways to Store Tofu So It Doesn’t Go Bad
Tofu should be kept in the refrigerator for best results, regardless of whether or not it’s the silky, firm or spongy type. It’s important to note that once you open tofu, any remaining amount must be placed in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag. A glass container with a tight fitted lid is best for tofu storage.
Some vegetarians believe that storing tofu in water will keep it edible for a long time. To try this process, rinse the tofu in cold tap water and place it in a large container.
Boil enough water to cover the tofu and pour the water over it in the bowl. Once it has cooled down move it to the refrigerator for storage. This should extend its shelf life for about 5 days.
To extend the life of tofu even longer, rinse and place in ziplock bags before sealing and storing in the freezer. Frozen tofu can be thawed easily, when you are ready to use it.
Risks of Consuming Spoiled Tofu
Consuming spoiled tofu could have severe consequences. Tofu that was not properly stored could contain E-coli or other harmful pathogens. These bacteria get onto tofu when it is not stored properly or handled with dirty hands or utensils.
You should always remember to practice good hygiene when handling foods. This means washing your hands thoroughly and ensuring that all your utensils are clean.
To avoid consuming the product once it’s gone bad, you must always maintain awareness of the expiration date on the package. If you repackage the tofu in a bowl, ensure that you make a note of the expiry date.
In addition to harmful bacteria, eating expired tofu could cause digestive discomfort such as tummy ache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Wrapping it Up
Tofu is the vegan chicken, it’s extremely versatile and an exceptional quality food that can be used in many dishes. Similar to dairy however, it can go bad really quickly.
When you open it, you must store it in the coolest place possible to ensure it lasts as long as it should. Be cautious when preparing tofu, as spoiled tofu can cause numerous medical issues.