How safe is stinky tofu since it does smell like feces? Is there risk of bad prep when making it or coming out of places with questionable food safety practice?

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    Counter question: Why would you want to eat something that you perceive as revolting?
    – Stephie
    Jun 14, 2021 at 5:59
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    Hi, it seems that you are assuming that food safety is connected to smell. I am closing as a duplicate of one of our basic food safety questions, but the more pertinent information is probably in the tag description, cooking.stackexchange.com/tags/food-safety/info.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 14, 2021 at 9:50
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    Lots of cheeses taste revolting for many people, and they are safe to eat.
    – Daniel
    Jun 14, 2021 at 12:29
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    @ChrisH I did not misunderstand it to be tofu that's gone bad. I understood the question such as: the OP checks food "by nose" and if it still smells good, they declare it "safe". Since "stinky tofu" smells unusually, they are asking by what criteria to determine whether a given piece of tofu is "safe". Since our site uses the official definition of food safety, the only answer we can give is to follow the official rules of food safety. The question I linked has a basic explanation of how food safety is determined without smell, and the tag info explains why smell cannot be used.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 14, 2021 at 15:34
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    @Pi A: hey, if you want to ask an acceptable version of this question, it would be something like "Are there specific food preparation risks associated with preparing Stinky Tofu that I should watch out for?" Food safety is on-topic for SA, but your question is too vague and confusing to be answerable.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jun 14, 2021 at 16:14

1 Answer 1


To answer your question: You can't know without sending a sample to a lab.

Your safest course of action is to ditch it.

There are safe bacteria in food and there are unsafe bacteria in food, and it's not easy to establish which bacteria has contaminated your food.

The various food (and drugs) administrations around the world have established certain safety procedures. This answer might help you.

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    That's like saying that the safest thing that you can do with a Camembert is to send it to a lab or ditch it because it smells like fart. People have been eating chòu dòufu for centuries and it does not seem to be less safe than any other food.
    – Daniel
    Jun 14, 2021 at 12:32
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    @Daniel, Camembert is supposed to stink, so that's not a valid objection. I was not aware of the existence of chòu dòufu which is a valid objection. Jun 17, 2021 at 17:52

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