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How to Tell If Tofu is Bad

Are you unsure whether the tofu in your fridge is still good to eat? Knowing “how to tell if tofu is bad” is essential for both your culinary adventures and your health.

In this informative blog post, we’ll guide you through easy-to-spot signs of spoiled tofu and provide expert advice on preventing food waste and avoiding potential health hazards.

Let’s dive into the world of tofu and ensure you never second-guess its quality again!

How to tell if tofu is bad


If tofu is bad, it will have a sour smell and off-white color. The texture will also be different, as bad tofu will be slimy or mushy. If you see any mold on the tofu, it is best to throw it away.

Wooden bowl with cubed tofu and a sprig of parsley

Tofu can be a great addition to any vegetarian meal, but like all food, it can go bad over time. Knowing how to tell if your tofu has gone bad is essential for ensuring your health and safety.

When tofu has gone bad, it may exhibit some noticeable changes in appearance, texture, and smell. These changes can include:

  1. Color: Fresh tofu typically has a pale, off-white color. If it has gone bad, it may develop yellowish, greenish, or even bluish-gray discoloration, which could be signs of mold growth.
  2. Texture: Fresh tofu has a smooth, slightly moist surface. Spoiled tofu may appear slimy or develop a sticky film on the surface, indicating bacterial growth. In some cases, it might also become excessively dry and crumbly.
  3. Smell: Fresh tofu has a mild, slightly nutty, or neutral scent. If it has gone bad, it will develop a strong, sour, or unpleasant odor that is easily noticeable when you open the container.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the tofu and not consume it, as it may cause foodborne illness.

Always store tofu in the refrigerator and consume it within the recommended timeframe, which is usually 3 to 5 days after opening, to ensure its safety and quality.

Some of my other helpful posts might be how to tell if honey has gone bad or how to tell if my sourdough starter has gone bad.

Sign Description
Smell Fresh tofu has a mild, slightly sweet smell. Spoiled tofu has a strong, sour, or unpleasant odor.
Appearance Good tofu is uniformly white or off-white, while spoiled tofu may have a slimy texture, mold, or discoloration.
Taste Spoiled tofu has a sour, bitter, or off taste, whereas fresh tofu has a mild, slightly sweet taste.
Expiration Date Always check the expiration date on the tofu package and store it properly in the refrigerator to maximize its shelf life.

What is tofu?

Tofu is a plant-based product made from coagulated soy milk that is pressed into blocks. It is a complete source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids for a healthy diet.

It is also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, and fiber, and can help promote good cholesterol levels, bone density, neurological well-being, and heart health.

Tofu comes in various textures, from silken to extra firm, and can be used in a variety of dishes such as smoothies, stir-fries, curries, stews, scrambles, and marinated salads.

How long does tofu last?

Tofu is an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed in a wide variety of dishes. But how long does it last? The answer depends on whether the tofu is unopened or opened.

Unopened tofu generally lasts for 2 to 3 months in the fridge, while opened tofu should be consumed within 3 to 5 days and stored in the fridge.

Prepared dishes with tofu can last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge, but if you find a foul smell or signs of spoilage, it’s best to discard it.

Cottage cheese is a great protein as well, find out how to tell if cottage cheese is bad on my blog.

How long can tofu sit out at room temperature?

Tofu can be kept at room temperature for a maximum of 2 hours. After 2 hours, the tofu will start to degrade, which can cause foodborne illness if consumed.

The USDA recommends discarding tofu that sits out at temperatures above 40℉ for more than 2 hours.

Fresh, unopened tofu should only be kept at room temperature for food preparation or in a meal for less than 1 hour.

Also, find out how long can cream cheese sit out or how long can yogurt sit out.

How to store tofu?

To store tofu, it is important to keep it in airtight containers away from moisture and heat. If the tofu is in its original packaging, make sure to keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

If you have opened the package, put the tofu into an airtight container or zip-lock bag and add some fresh potable water to the container until the tofu is completely covered.

Change the water daily to keep the tofu fresh. For leftovers or a dish containing tofu in bulk, put it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator until your next meal.

Can you freeze tofu?

Yes, you can freeze tofu. However, it is important to drain the water and wrap it in a freezer-safe container or bag before freezing.

Doing so will help prevent ice pockets from forming. Additionally, freezing can significantly alter the texture of the tofu, making it more compact and chewy.

It is best to use frozen tofu in recipes that call for cooked tofu rather than as a standalone dish. All types of tofu can be frozen and will last for 4-6 months in the freezer.

Frequently asked questions for how to tell if tofu is bad

Consuming spoiled tofu may result in food poisoning, causing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If you suspect you have eaten bad tofu, it is advisable to seek medical attention.

To prolong tofu’s shelf life, store it in an airtight container and change the water daily. Alternatively, you can freeze tofu, which will extend its shelf life for up to 3 months without compromising its taste and texture.

Yes, packaged tofu can go bad over time, even if it is unopened. It is important to check the expiration date on the package and store the tofu properly in the refrigerator to maximize its shelf life. Once opened, consume the tofu within 3-5 days for the best quality and safety.


Understanding how to tell if tofu is bad can save you from unpleasant culinary experiences and potential health issues.

By following the simple tips and tricks shared in this blog post, you can enjoy delicious tofu dishes with confidence, knowing that you’re consuming only the freshest and safest ingredients.

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