Does Rice Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

Does Rice Go Bad How Long Does It Last
Image: Lucky Belly

As you can guess, uncooked rice can last for long, but the questions are does rice go bad and how long does rice last. In most cases, the answer will depend on the way you store this grocery. For example, you should keep cooked rice in the fridge, but raw can last long held in the storage room. Let’s see.

Does Rice Go Bad?

Does Rice Go Bad
Image: Lucky Belly

Even though rice usually has an indefinite life, it is possible to spoil occasionally. Unfortunately, it can be quite tricky to determine if white, jasmine, wild, or basmati rice is still healthy and safe for consumption.

These rice types can contain rice weevils, brownish bugs with red spots when stored inappropriately. Luckily, it is not a typical case, plus you can notice them quickly. On the other hand, you will see spoiled uncooked brown rice immediately since it stinks and becomes oily to touch.

How Long Does Rice Last?

If you store uncooked white rice properly, it can last forever. However, you should keep it safe after cooking, not longer than a week. It will be eatable for years if you store it in the freezer, but it is better to use your cooked rice for up to 4 to 6 months.

How Long Does Rice Last (Chart)

Rice type

PantryFridgeFreezer
White raw4 to 5 yearsIndefinitely

Indefinitely

Brown raw

6 to 8 monthsUp to one year12 to 18 months
Jasmine raw4 to 5 yearsIndefinitely

Indefinitely

Wild raw

4 to 5 yearsIndefinitelyIndefinitely
White cooked2 hours5 to 7 days

6 to 8 months

Brown cooked

2 hours4 to 5 days2 months
Jasmine cooked2 hours4 to 6 days

6 months

Wild cooked

2 hours4 to 6 days

6 months

On average, you can keep raw brown rice in your pantry for approximately six to eight months. Storing in the refrigerator may slightly prolong its shelf life, and it will be eatable for about a year. The shelf life of cooked brown rice is five days in the fridge.

4 Tips to Tell If Rice Has Gone Bad

How to Tell If Rice Has Gone Bad
Image: Lucky Belly

Most rice types, including white, wild, basmati, and jasmine, have an indefinite shelf life. The only thing you need to take care of is to keep it safe from contaminants. Otherwise, you may have some problems with spoiled grains and consequent health issues.

On the other hand, brown rice can’t last too long because of the high oil content. As a result, it often spoils quickly. Fortunately, you won’t have any problems determining if the rice you have is eatable or a threat.

Texture

Spoiled cooked rice will become discolored, lose a recognizable texture, and become hard, dry, and crumbly. At the same time, the grains will start sticking together and forming clumps.

The reason is its exposure to higher humidity and consequent accelerated bacterial growth while staying in the refrigerator. It is a typical case when you leave rice in the fridge for too long. Uncooked brown rice often becomes slimy and oily over time.

Smell

Because of a high level of essential fatty acids that oxidize over time, brown rice goes bad after a few months of storing. As a result, you will feel a typical and unpleasant rancid odor. On the other hand, this grain food usually smells sour and funky when bacteria proliferate in it. In such a case, get rid of leftovers to protect your health.

Mold

Unfortunately, you can spot mold growing in your rice when it is not stored adequately. How fast it will happen depends on the moisture degree it has been exposed to.

Insects

The problem with insect infestations is quite common when you store brown rice in the pantry in an opened bag. Rice weevils and meal moths feed on rice and lay their eggs inside the package. You can see both vivid insects and holes through the rice grains. It will become dusty and mixed with eggs and larvae over time.

How to Store Cooked Rice

Since cooked rice is highly moist, it is not rare to become a substrate for bacterial growth. So, you should store cold rice correctly if you want to save it for further consumption. In most cases, this grocery can’t stand at room temperature for more than two hours.

Fridge

If you plan to store cooked rice for only a few days, let it cool for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, seal it carefully, and put it into the fridge.

Freezer

The best way is to cool it quickly by spreading out on a tray or baking sheet. If you live in a hot and moisture area, putting the tray in the fridge is a better option. When it entirely cools, fill a resealable plastic bag or airtight container, and place it in the freeze as soon as possible.

How to Store Uncooked White Rice

Pantry

It is definitely the most convenient rice type to store without the risk of spoiling. Store original packaging into a dark and dry pantry with a constant low temperature. The safest way to keep rice from insects after opening a pack is to put it into a freezer bag or airtight container.

Freezer

If you want to keep white rice unspoiled for a few months, you should store it in the freezer. Remove it from the original packaging to a freezing bag or airtight container. Make sure to remove excess air from the bag before sealing it.

However, the best option to prevent freezer burn is to keep your rice in an oxygen-free safe container. When stored that way, your rice will be eatable and free of dust, bugs, and pests for decades.

How to Store Uncooked Brown Rice

Pantry

You can store brown rice this way for about half a year, but take care to seal it properly and keep it away from moisture and insects.

  • Grandma’s recipe – You can try to keep cloves of garlic or dried bay leaves in a container to protect rice from insects.
  • Oxygen absorber – If you can find a container with an oxygen absorber, you should use it to store your rice for an extended period. The only condition is to keep it tightly sealed to prevent any insects from reaching your food. Unfortunately, rice will become rancid over time.

Freezer

That is a way to increase the brown rice’s shelf life for approximately two years. Since this grocery contains a low moisture level, you won’t need to thaw it before using it.

The Risk of Consuming an Expired Rice

The Risk of Consuming an Expired Rice
Image: Lucky Belly

The difference between white and brown rice is in their structure. Since brown type contains husk, germ, and bran that are removed from white ones, its shelf life is decreased a lot. On the other hand, it is full of valuable nutrients.

Unfortunately, residual outer parts make brown rice highly perishable, so you risk food poisoning once you eat spoiled ones. When you eat reheated, week-old rice containing Bacillus cereus spores, you will probably have an issue with vomiting and diarrhea.

The first symptoms will appear approximately 1 to 5 hours after consuming spoiling rice, but they usually won’t last more than 24 hours.

Always take care to serve rice right away after cooking or refrigerate it for a couple of hours. Never reheat this food more than once or leave it at room temperature for too long to prevent spores from growing.

Can You Freeze Rice?

Can You Freeze Rice
Image: Lucky Belly

You can freeze cooked rice regardless of the type you use. The entire process is not complicated, and you won’t spend much time doing it correctly. Let’s see.

Make desired portions

It is not practical freezing all rice left after dinner. If you have plenty of it, you should divide the bunch into meal-sized portions. The portion size will depend on the number of your household members.

Let it cool

Never put hot rice in the freezer immediately after cooking. Let it cool down on the counter or in the refrigerator. Once it reaches room temperature, it is prepared for freezing. It is always an excellent idea to add some butter or a few olive oils drop to the rice to stay moist and tasty after thawing.

Use freezer bags

The best way to store cooked rice in the freezer is to place it into freezer bags. Don’t forget to remove excess air from the bag before sealing it. It is advisable to add a label with the date, so you will always be aware of your meal’s expired date.

Another option is to keep rice in a meal prep container when planning to leave it in the freezer for only 10 to 15 days.

Store it

Arrange the bags in the appropriate place in the freezer until you need it again. Once you decide to thaw your rice, you can do it in a few ways, including:

  • Microwave
  • Non-stick pan
  • Refrigerator

Summary

Even though manufacturers need to label the package’s expiration date, uncooked white rice basically has an indefinite shelf life. However, you should be careful with storing brown rice, whether you keep it raw or cooked. Pack it adequately and enjoy this healthy food without any concern.

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