My first "Should I eat this?"
July 10, 2024 4:46 AM   Subscribe

Prepared tofu left out overnight in a plastic tupperware type container (prepared on the stove top with soy sauce and balsamic vinegar).

I'd like to keep it if possible, but I'm somewhat risk averse and tofu is not very expensive...
posted by Eyelash to Food & Drink (12 answers total)
I would toss it. As you say, tofu is not expensive. Just make it again and be confident in your health.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:52 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]

I would totally eat that.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:01 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]

Overnight at room temperature? I would not eat that. Tofu is basically a growth medium.
posted by heatherlogan at 5:07 AM on July 10 [19 favorites]

I regularly eat cooked tofu that has been left out for 10+ hours without incident, including sometimes when it hasn't been properly containerised. For me, how firm the tofu was and how much liquid was pressed out during the prep stage would also impact the decision - the firmer it was to start with, the less worried I'd be.
posted by terretu at 5:27 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]

nattō is fermented soybeans. it's..."an acquired taste"/edible [wiki]. i might cook it
posted by HearHere at 5:30 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

I have regularly eaten cooked tofu that I Ieft out overnight because I forgot to put dinner away. Never any problems. I am also not risk averse though.
posted by coffeecat at 6:09 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]

The worst food poisoning I have ever had - like, almost 2 full days of lying in bed and exiting only to stagger to the bathroom bad - was, as far as I could tell, from uncooked tofu left on the counter at room temperature overnight.

I otherwise tend to be on the adventurous end of MeFi's "should I eat this?" scale, but I no longer mess with questionable soy products.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:23 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]

If it was sitting in a good amount of vinegar and soy overnight, those probably deter the growth of anything really nasty because of their salt/acidity. I'd probably heat it up super well and try a bite, but my partner wouldn't - I'm the one with the strong stomach who doesn't get a lot of digestive upsets
posted by Frowner at 6:32 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]

If it wasn't prepared I'd say toss it. But vinegar and soy sauce would act as preservatives inhibiting microbe growth even in moderate quantities.

I think it's safe to go by taste and smell and texture. Vinegar and soy sauce may cover some of the obvious bad smell up but you WILL be able to tell if if it's bad by taking a small bite.

Go for it! Take a small bite! You can spit it right out if it's off, it's not that dangerous.
posted by MiraK at 6:45 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

I think you answered your own question.

Risk adverse and not a financial burden at all? Toss it and start again. This is from someone who would eat pretty much anything left for 18 hours or less.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:15 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]

After a hot night I'd toss it, after a cold one I'd eat it. Bacterial growth depends so much on temperature.
posted by anadem at 8:19 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It will probably surprise no one that I threw it out. I told myself I would if the answer was anything short of a unanimous "it's fine!" Thanks everyone!
posted by Eyelash at 6:49 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]

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