Should we eat expired tofu?
My daughter has recently decided not to eat meat. I have started purchasing tofu -- but don't always use it by the expiration date on the package. Tofu is sealed in liquid. Is it safe for a little while after the date stamped on the package?
Here is some information about the dates that are on packages from the USDA:
“Open Dating (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/food-labeling/food-product-dating/food-product-dating)" (use of a calendar date on food packages) on a food product is a date stamped on a product's package to help the store determine how long to display the product for sale. It can also help the purchaser to know the time limit to purchase or use the product at its best quality. It is not a safety date. After the date passes, while it may not be of best quality, refrigerated products should still be safe if handled properly and kept at 40 °F (4.4 ºC) for a reasonable number of days to consume the food, (which is likely 3-4 days for something like tofu).
The Soyfoods Organization (http://www.soyfoods.org/enjoy-soy/cooking-with-soyfoods#tofu) notes that tofu should be handled like a perishable dairy product and should last a week. But if not used during that time, it can be safely frozen. They suggest draining the excess water and wrapping well before freezing.
The package should also have contact information for the manufacturer. They are usually happy to talk to consumers about their product.
This might be a good time to check the temperature in your refrigerator. Food maintains best quality and safety if the temperature is between 34'f and 40'f.