Does Tofu Go Bad? See the Answers You’ve Been Looking For

Food goes bad and there are different ways each type of food shows its deteriorated or unpleasant state. As a vegan and tofu (soybean curds) fan, before you get it in large quantities, you want to know if it’s safe to do so. You sure want to know if tofu goes bad.

This article contains the information every tofu lover wants to have before they go stock up on soybean curds.

What Is Tofu?

Tofu is a vegan, gluten-free food made by coagulating fresh soy milk and pressing the curds into blocks. The making process is what gave tofu the name ‘soybean curds’. Soybean curd is rich in protein, iron, and calcium but low in cholesterol and calories.

According to personal preferences, your tofu can be soft, firm, extra firm, or even silken. This Chinese staple can be eaten raw or cooked in different ways with different meals. Moreover, you can either have soybean curds as a full meal or as a substitute for meat.

Additionally, soybean curds are considered a healthy meal as it contains low saturated fat. It is not only great for vegans, but it is also good for people with heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels.

Does Tofu Go Bad?

Yes, tofu goes bad like every other food. What makes soybean curds go bad depends on how exposed you left it during and after preparation, how you store it, and for how long you store it. Besides these, many other biological factors make tofu go bad.

Does Tofu Go Bad in the Fridge?

Tofu can go bad in the fridge. If you have opened your pack of soybean curds, it can only last for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. And this is regardless of the printed date on the pack.

Unopened soybean curds, on the other hand, will not go bad until past the printed date on the pack. Opened soybean curds will go bad because whenever you open the refrigerator door, microorganisms go in, and tofu is prone to bacterial growth.

Does Tofu Go Bad After Being Cooked?

Cooked soybean curds do last as long as raw soybean curds do. If you have cooked your soybean curds and still want to have them good for a few more days, store them in a fridge.

Cooked tofu will last 3-5 days in a fridge. If left alone in the pot or anywhere in the kitchen, it’s only as good as two hours more.

Does Tofu Go Bad After Expiry Date?

Expiry date (or best by date which is more common) is also another factor that determines how long your soybean curds will last. The expiry date on your soybean curds package tells you how long it will last. Also, how you stored the unopened tofu can help extend its quality.

If you stored the unopened pack in a freezer, it may be fit to eat for a few months after the expiry date. However, it is not advisable to freeze soybean curds beyond four months.

In addition, when you open the pack, make sure you smell the soybean curds to identify signs that say it’s unfit for meals.

What Is the Shelf Life of Tofu?

The shelf life of unopened, shelf-stable soybean curds is 3-5 months. The shelf life of unopened, refrigerated tofu is 3-5 days after its best-by date. Freezing soybean curds can allow you to enjoy a shelf life of up to 5 months.

Can Expired Tofu Make You Sick?

Yes, it can. If you have consumed bad tofu, you’re likely to experience signs like digestive issues, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and headaches. In general, the manifest signs are similar to those seen with food poisoning.

SEE: Do Hard-Boiled Eggs Go Bad?

How to Tell if Tofu Is Bad?

Check the package

If you got sealed soybean curds from the store, check the seal of the package for the information written. The best, by date, can give you information on whether the soybean curds are still consumable.

Also, if the package is bloated, it means it contains bacterial growth that has in turn resulted in accumulated gas.

SEE: How Long Should You Keep Your Food?

The water

After opening your tofu pack, if the water in it is thick and cloudy or brownish, the soybean curds are bad, you should discard them immediately. This also applies to homemade soybean curds.

Examine the color

Soybean curds are naturally white or off-white. If your soybean curds appear discolored- dark yellow, grey with mold discoloration, or brownish- it is bad. When it looks this way, it is no longer safe for consumption.

SEE: How to Stop Food Spoilage and Food Poisoning

Smell the soybean curds

Tofu is almost odorless. When it becomes rancid, it has an acidic smell that is stinky and sour. If you notice this with your soybean curds, it’s time to throw them away.

Take a little bite

The taste of food can help you identify if it’s still fit to eat. If you can’t make out the state of your soybean curds from the smell and look, you can take a little bite. Bad soybean curds will not taste like good tofu. Bad soybean curds will have a very sour and bitter taste.

SEE: Get Paid to Eat Food: Best Companies That Will Pay You [+ Other Ways to Get Paid to Eat]

How to Preserve Tofu

  • Store unopened soybean curds in a cool, dry, and dark place away from sunlight
  • When you have opened your soybean curds pack, refrigerate it
  • Store soybean curds for longer by freezing it
  • Keep soybean curds in an airtight container to prevent bacterial growth
  • Preserve leftover soybean curds by soaking them in clean, cold water before refrigerating
  • Change the water you soak soybean curds in daily
  • Save your money by buying only as much as you can use within a short period

SEE: Exposed! Here Are Brilliant Ways You Didn’t Know You Could Reuse Your Grocery Jars


Why does Tofu go bad so fast?

Tofu goes bad quickly because it is prone to bacterial growth and at the slightest exposure to air, it becomes unfit for food.

Can you eat unopened expired tofu?

It is not completely safe or advisable to eat expired tofu. Soybean curds are only consumable after the best by date which is the most common information on the pack. You may eat soybean curds a few days after the best by date.

Must you refrigerate tofu?

You must refrigerate tofu if you bought it refrigerated. Also, refrigerate opened soybean curds to preserve their quality for up to five days.

Can you store tofu in a ziplock bag?

Yes, you can. A ziplock bag is airtight and a good substitute for a Tupperware container.


Tofu or soybean curd is a good meal that is rich in protein and other nutrients that the body needs for health and development. It is also vegan and good for people looking to control their cholesterol intake. However, soybean curds don’t last so long. It quickly goes bad, especially after opening it.

Nonetheless, this drawback is easily managed if you know how to store your soybean curds properly. Freeze your unopened and opened soybean curds to keep them for longer. Consume opened soybean curds within five days.

Most importantly, store your soybean curds in a hygienic environment and always examine them before you cook and eat them.

Thanks for reading.

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