Does Tofu Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 3rd, 2022

What Happens When Tofu Goes Bad? How long is it going to last?

For vegetarians and vegans, tofu is an excellent meat alternative. It is a fantastic source of protein and one of the most flexible foods for preparing various recipes. You may be wondering if tofu spoils or how long tofu lasts. Let’s see what happens.

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What Happens When Tofu Goes Bad?

Tofu is a high-protein soy food with just 80 calories per 3 ounces (85 g). It is made from condensed soy milk. Thus it has an expiration date just like any other dairy product.

Tofu, however, may spoil. Tofu has a short shelf life once opened since it is susceptible to bacterial development. The good news is that you may extend its life by properly storing it.

Does Tofu Go Bad?

Even if you haven’t opened the packaging, you should store tofu in the fridge. The best before date is a strong predictor of how long it will last. In other words, you should not utilize it after the expiration date for longer than a week.

However, shelf-stable tofu in aseptic packing is available. This tofu may be stored in your cupboard for two to three months. When you open it, store it in the refrigerator and utilize it within 3 to 5 days, regardless of the expiration date.

If you like, you may make your tofu. Storing it in your cupboard is risky because, unlike store-bought tofu, it lacks anti-microbial chemicals. After cooking the tofu, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for no more than five days. In addition, any prepared meal, including tofu, must be refrigerated.

How Long Does Tofu Last after It Has Been Opened?

This is dependent on the type of tofu. Most retailers sell two types of canned goods: shelf-stable and refrigerated. The use by dates will vary, with the shelf-stable variant typically having a longer shelf life. Typically, you have around 2-3 months before you need to be concerned.

It’s a simple rule: if you purchased it from a refrigerated cabinet, keep it in the refrigerator. If you purchased it off the shelf, you could keep it at room temperature. We don’t advocate eating tofu that has been inadequately kept or that is more than a few days past its use-by date.

How Long Can Tofu Stay in Room Temperature?

Tofu, like any other food that includes moisture, can quickly become a breeding ground for all kinds of unpleasant germs if left out uncovered at room temperature. Ideally, you should avoid keeping food exposed and on the counter or table at all, but if it’s only for lunchtime, such as a tofu salad that you don’t eat, then refrigerate the leftovers in a sealed container or covered dish; you should be OK.

How Long Will Tofu Last in the Fridge?

If it’s unopened, you should merely go by the use-by date on the package, which will give you the most accurate estimate of the shelf life. If refrigerated tofu has been unsealed, it should be good for 3 to 5 days if properly stored. Any longer than that, and there’s a chance it’ll spoil, especially if the refrigerator door is opened regularly.

If you’ve been removing it regularly to chop and utilize in meal preparation, reduce that quantity by a couple of days. As previously said, the best method to be certain is to trust your sight and nose. If something doesn’t seem right or smells bad, don’t try it since you could become sick.

What Causes Tofu to Go Bad in the Fridge?

If your tofu is over its expiration date and you’ve kept it refrigerated, but it’s still gone bad, it’s possible that you need to be more careful about how it’s stored. When left uncovered in the refrigerator, it is still susceptible to microorganisms from other foods and may acquire tastes from aromatic goods such as garlic or onions.

So the easiest way to prevent it from drying out is to keep it snugly wrapped or in a sealed plastic container with some freshwater (you should change the water every 24h at least).

How Long Does Cooked Tofu Last?

Cooked tofu has a slightly longer shelf life than raw tofu, generally an additional 2 or 3 days. So, if you have a huge amount of raw tofu that you want to consume within the next week, you may prepare it all at once and keep some in the fridge for 6-7 days.

Cooked tofu does not freeze as well as uncooked tofu. Although it is safe to do so, most individuals dislike the change in texture. Whether you want to give it a shot, we recommend making a small quantity first and evaluating if the stiffer, chewier texture concerns you before freezing the entire batch. If you don’t mind the texture change, it will stay in the freezer for a few months, much like raw tofu.

How Long Does Tofu Keep? (Chart)

Tofu typePantryFridgeFreezer
Unopened2 to 3 monthsOne week3 to 5 months
OpenedUnsafe3 to 5 days3 to 5 months
HomemadeUnsafe3 to 5 days3 to 5 months

Different types of tofu

Tofu (also known as bean curd in some countries) originated in China around 2000 years ago. It spread to adjacent nations and has since become a staple of East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine.

Tofu manufacture is quite straightforward and is similar to the creation of cheese. It is created by coagulating soy milk into curd and pressing it into a solid block.

Tofu has a distinct delicate flavor that allows it to be used in a wide range of cuisines, both sweet and savory. It is frequently used in soups, stir-fries, deep-fried foods, salads, desserts, smoothies, and so on. However, you should double-check the recipe to see which variety of tofu is required.

Tofu is classified into two types: silky and normal. Silken tofu is made without curdling or pressing, giving it a delicate and silky feel.

On the other hand, regular tofu is made by pressing the curd and squeezing off the water. The more water squeezed out of the tofu, the firmer it becomes. Regular tofu is classified as soft, firm, or extra-firm based on its hardness and texture.

Aside from silken and ordinary tofu, you may come across another variety of tofu known as egg tofu. It is manufactured by simply adding eggs to soy milk during the manufacturing process. It has a delicate texture and a creamy egg taste.

How to Keep Tofu Fresher for a Longer period

Suppose contaminated by incorrect storage or contact with other foods. However, there are several precautions you may take to avoid it from rotting.


Only unopened tofu can be stored on a shelf outside the refrigerator. Even in such a situation, you must select the correct location. It should be placed in a dark location, away from sunshine and drafts. After you’ve opened it, place it in the fridge.

You can only keep open tofu at room temperature for around half an hour to an hour while preparing food or eating. After then, the tofu has the potential to deteriorate and spoil.


Tofu comes in various textures, including smooth, firm, and spongy. You may store them all in the fridge until the expiration date. It will spoil in a couple of days once you open the pack. Still, the following tips will help you keep tofu safe for a bit longer.

Tofu, boiled

When opening the tofu, wash it under a stream of cold water, drain it thoroughly, and place it in a suitable container for storage. Then, pour boiling water and place it in the refrigerator to chill. With this approach, you can avoid fermentation and increase the shelf life of your food by up to five days.

Immersion in water

Tofu must be kept soaked in liquid when being stored. First, set it in a jar filled with boiling water, and then change the liquid daily. Tofu must be stored in fresh, clean water. Some cooks advocate adding a sprinkle of salt to keep it fresher for longer, but bear in mind that it will modify the flavor significantly.

Glass container

Even if you do not intend to consume tofu, it is critical to check it regularly. Examine the tofu condition in the glass container without taking it out and exposing it to other refrigerated food odors. Furthermore, it is simpler to replace the water regularly.

airtight container

Always properly seal the tofu before putting it back in the fridge. If you don’t have vacuum sealing lids, use airtight dishes to prevent germs from contaminating the tofu.


If you like, you may freeze the entire tofu pack, but don’t use the original package. Because tofu has a high amount of water, it expands as it freezes, and the container may break depending on the material.

Instead, open it and drain the water before placing the tofu on a cake sheet covered with a paper towel. When there is no extra water, place it in a freezer bag or an airtight container and freeze.

Think about hygiene and food Contamination

Severe tofu poisoning has been documented on rare occasions. Due to improper storage conditions, this food may contain E. coli or another harmful microbe.

Remember to wash your hands before handling tofu and keep the container clean. Furthermore, do not prepare tofu and other meal items using the same tools. Separate blades for chopping veggies and tofu might prevent them from spoiling prematurely.

How to Tell If Your Tofu Is Bad

Tofu will be safe for consumption until the expiration date if properly stored. However, various signs appear when food has soured. In such a circumstance, always toss it away.


If you see the tofu pack is swollen, throw it away since a bacterium colony has grown within. As a result, the bag is overflowing with pressure-creating gas.


The aroma of fresh tofu is light and neutral. Don’t use it if you open the container to replace the water and smell a rotten, acidic stench.


Spoiled tofu discolors, turning yellowish or even darker. In any case, don’t consume it.


The change in texture indicates that the tofu is no longer edible. If you see that the surface has turned slimy or that the tofu has clotted, discard it rather than risk your health.


Because of its neutral flavor, tofu is flexible and ideal for producing savory foods, sweets, and soups. If you get a weird, bitter, or sour flavor when you take a mouthful, you know it’s gone bad.


The water used to store tofu should be kept clean. If it turns hazy, mushy, or has brown lumps in it, there is an unhealthy organic development inside. Such tofu should be discarded since it is no longer edible.


Tofu, unlike certain forms of cheese, does not contain desirable mold. The presence of black, brown, or green patches on tofu indicates that it has gone rotten. You should avoid eating it since it may cause intestinal difficulties.

Is it safe to consume expired tofu?

Tofu will go bad after a while, depending on whether it has previously been opened and the storage conditions.

A “best before” date is generally printed on a package of tofu. If you have tofu that has passed its expiration date, look for symptoms of deterioration. It is probably safe to consume if there are no symptoms of deterioration and the quality is still satisfactory. However, if you see any symptoms of rotting, it is best to throw the tofu away.

The Dangers of Consuming Expired Tofu

Tofu will decay after its expiry date since most people store it soaked in water, making it susceptible to deterioration. As a result, harmful germs might thrive and create health issues.

Food poisoning due to tofu intake is unusual, although it does occur. Consuming outdated tofu might cause minor discomfort such as gas, bloating, and other digestive difficulties.

However, Listeria monocytogenes infection is higher if you ingest raw tofu rather than cooked tofu. Diarrhea, headaches, vomiting, and fever can all be caused by these germs. Symptoms of Listeriosis usually occur one to four weeks after intake.

Can Tofu Be Freeze?

Tofu is a quick-freezing food. It will stay in the freezer for three to four months. It is safe to eat even after a year of storage, although its taste and texture quality deteriorates over time.

If you wish to freeze it, split the tofu package into smaller chunks that may be used individually. It is not advisable to refreeze it after it has thawed.

Drain all of the water from the container using a tofu press before slicing it. Wrap each item in plastic or self-adhesive foil after that. Smaller zip lock bags can also be used for this purpose.

Take the tofu out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator the night before you need it. It cannot go good at room temperature, so don’t keep it on the kitchen counter. Furthermore, thawed tofu will soon leak moisture and produce a mess in your kitchen.

You don’t need to defrost tofu if you’re going to cook with it. Instead, place a frozen piece in a saucepan. However, if you intend to deep-fry, marinade, or use it in salads, you should thaw it first.


Tofu is a highly healthful cuisine that may be used instead of meat in many dishes, but it spoils rapidly. Once opened, it can be kept in the fridge for less than a week. Be cautious, as rotten tofu can cause a variety of health issues.


Editorial Staff

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