How do I know if tofu is spoiled?

In this brief article, we will discuss ‘’How do I know if tofu is spoiled’’. You will also find the proper way of storing tofu to keep it fresh for a longer time. 

How do I know if tofu is spoiled?

You will know if tofu is spoiled when its texture has become slimy with an acidic smell coming from it. Spoiled tofu also becomes discolored, a dark yellow color which is followed by molds growing on the surface of the tofu.

Spoiled tofu will have the following signs that will help you tell that it is no longer safe to eat it.

  1. Bloated package 

Bacteria colonies form inside spoiled tofu which leads to bloated packages and dents on the surface of the packaging. Discard such tofu immediately.

  1. Rancid smell

As compared to the neutral smell that fresh tofu has, spoiled tofu has a rancid almost caustic smell that will tell you to throw it away. 

  1. Discoloration

Spoiled tofu will take a dark yellow color when it is spoiled which is also an indication that the tofu is too old or was stored at room temperature for too long.

  1. Clotted texture

Slimy texture with clots on the surface is a sign that your tofu has gone bad. Tofu has a very clear and smooth texture so if there is any slime, it is because of the bacteria that have taken over the tofu.

  1. Brown lumps in the water

The water in which tofu is stored is clear but spoiled tofu will have brown lumps with cloudy water. The tofu is disintegrating and is no longer fresh.

Shelf life of shelf stable and refrigerated tofu

These are the two types of tofu that you will generally find in the market. Shelf stable tofu will last longer up to 3 months when unopened and placed in a dry place. Refrigerated tofu will stay fresh for a week inside the refrigerator.

Just like their names suggest, it is important to store the refrigerated one inside the refrigerator and the shelf stable one in a dry place. 

Is it safe to leave tofu at room temperature?

It is not safe to leave tofu at room temperature because as soon as it is on the counter, it will become a breeding ground for bacteria because of the moisture it has. You should not leave tofu uncovered or at room temperature at all. 

Storing tofu in the refrigerator

Tofu stays fresh for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator, after which it will start turning yellowish brown with a foul odour. This is because the temperature inside the refrigerator doesn’t remain the same, it keeps on fluctuating when the door opens.  

Don’t leave it uncovered even inside the refrigerator because it will be exposed to bacteria present inside the fridge. It might also start tasting like other food stored inside the fridge such as garlic or onions. 

Pour hot water on tofu will extend its shelf life

Before putting it inside the refrigerator, wash it with cold water and put it in a container. Pour hot boiling water over it and store inside the fridge. This will prevent bacteria from invading the tofu and make it last for around 5 days.

How frequent should the water be changed?

Change the water every 24 hours to keep the tofu fresh and prevent it from drying out. Make sure to seal it or put it in a plastic tub that is enclosed. 

Is it okay to freeze tofu?

Yes, it is completely fine to freeze tofu. In fact, freezing tofu will make it able to absorb more flavor once it is defrosted. Freezing tofu also keeps it fresh for a longer time and is not a new practice at all. 

How to freeze tofu 

A great tip to freeze tofu is to cut it into small chunks that you can take out according to the need of the moment. This will help keep the rest of the blocks safe from going bad. Remove the excess amount of water before storing tofu, this can be done by placing it on a towel that will soak all the water content. 

To make sure that all the moisture is out, try putting a heavy book on top of the towel in which the tofu is wrapped, this will help you keep the tofu fresh in the freezer for about 4 months. 

What is the shelf life of cooked tofu?

Cooked tofu will last longer as compared to the uncooked one by 2 or 3 days. So if you have a lot of tofu in store, you can cook it and store it in the refrigerator which will keep it fresh for about a week.

Don’t freeze cooked tofu as that will change the texture of the tofu. It won’t spoil the tofu necessarily but the change in taste might want you to throw it away.

Other FAQs about Tofu that you may be interested in.

Can you eat firm tofu raw?

Can you freeze cooked tofu?


In this brief article, we discussed ‘’How do I know if tofu is spoiled’’. You also found the proper way of storing tofu to keep it fresh for a longer time.