How long does tofu last?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long does tofu last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of tofu. Moreover, we are going to discuss ways to spot bad tofu and the proper way to store tofu.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long does tofu last?

Unopened tofu lasts for about 3-5 days past its packaging date if it is stored properly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, opened tofu also has the same shelf life and it lasts for about 3-5 days when stored in an air-tight container in the fridge.

On the other hand, cooked tofu lasts for about 4-5 days if it is stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. You should always remember that no doubt refrigeration preserves the freshness of tofu for quite long but it does not mean that it completely stops the bacterial growth in it as the cold temperature of the fridge only decreases the rate at which bacteria grow.

So if you want to prolong the shelf life of your tofu, you can try to freeze it. Tofu lasts for about 3-5 months if it is properly stored in a plastic freezer bag or heavy-duty freezer container in the freezer. 

Thus keeping the tofu in the freezer will increase its shelf life considerably owing to the cool temperature of the freezer that halts the bacterial growth on the tofu.

It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of the tofu and tofu can even last for more than this, provided that they are stored properly.

You can read how to make tofu here.

Is tofu safe to use after the best-before date?

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the package of tofu refers to the quality rather than safety so the tofu doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. It is the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of tofu but you can still use tofu that is past this date as long as it was stored properly and there is no leakage or mold in the pack of tofu.

Indicators of bad tofu

Certain indicators point out whether or not your tofu has gone bad. You have to consider the appearance, texture, and smell of tofu to give a final verdict about the tofu.

Appearance

If you spot greenish-blue molds on your tofu, then the best thing you can do is to get rid of the tofu as it is an indication of bad tofu and if you consume such tofu, it can cause many foodborne illnesses including food poisoning that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and sometimes even fever.

Texture

If the tofu has already curdled, has softened too much, and is not firm then it means that your tofu has gone bad. Moreover, the slimy texture also points out that tofu has gone bad.

Smell

If you can smell something acidic or sour then it means that your tofu has gone bad and you should discard it. Smelling a pungent smell is also an indication that the tofu has gone bad.

If the tofu has developed off-smell and off-flavor then consuming such tofu can put you at risk of many digestive issues especially food poisoning, moreover, you can also suffer from headaches and bloating. 

How to properly store tofu?

  1. You should store your tofu in an air-tight container in the fridge once it gets opened. It is recommended to even store your unopened tofu in the fridge.
  2. You should always store your tofu at 40°F or below. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore it is always advised to store your cooked tofu at a lower temperature.
  3. You can also freeze tofu in plastic freezer bags to prolong its shelf life.
  4. Store the tofu in small batches in shallow containers.
  5. In the case of cooked tofu, always let tofu cool before storing it in the air-tight container or plastic zipper bag.
  6. If you want to store tofu in the freezer it is recommended to press it to drain the excess water out of it. Whether you want to store the tofu in the fridge or freezer, you should always store it in an air-tight container or zip-lock bag.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long does tofu last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of tofu. Moreover, we discussed ways to spot bad tofu and the proper way to store tofu.

Citations

https://www.eatbydate.com/proteins/beans-peas/how-long-does-tofu-last-shelf-life/#:~:text=Interesting%20facts%20about%20Tofu%3A,it%20should%20remain%20remain%20refrigerated.

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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