Can Rice Go Bad?
Of course, they can. If there are bugs, holes, or if the rice becomes wet, it means they are no more good to eat. Dry white rice comes with a shelf life of about 2 years while brown rice can stay good for about 6 to 7 months in the pantry.
Raw rice is designed to last longer, but it’s good to know how long this “long period” will last, the signs of spoilage of raw and cooked rice, and how to prevent rice spoilage with proper storage. For example, cooked rice should be stored in the refrigerator, while raw rice can be stored in the cupboard for a long time. All types of rice (except brown rice) can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-6 days, or up to 6 months if stored in the refrigerator.
To learn about How To Preserve Figs, check out my article where I cover everything you need to know.
To extend the shelf life of cooked rice, it is best to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Place uncooked rice in an airtight container in a pantry or other dry place at room temperature to keep it free from pests or moisture. Whatever rice you buy, you should store it tightly sealed in a cool, dry place to keep pests and moisture out.
By the way, if you’re interested in How To Preserve Food, check out my article on that.
If you plan to store rice in the refrigerator, be sure to seal it in a freezer-safe bag or the following containers. After opening the bag or container, be sure to seal the remaining rice tightly to avoid contact with the outside environment. You can store brown rice this way for about six months, but make sure to seal it properly and protect it from moisture and insects. Store brown rice in an airtight container in a cool place like the pantry, but keep in mind that it will only last for a few months.
Once rice has been exposed to the elements, simply by opening it, store it in an airtight container, preferably in a cool place such as a pantry – it should be stored indefinitely. If you place a container of rice in the refrigerator, brown rice has twice the shelf life of outdoor storage, meaning it can last up to 12 months. Storing in the refrigerator can slightly extend the shelf life of uncooked brown rice, and it will be edible for about a year.
|Kinds of rice||Shelf life|
|Brown rice||Approximately 6 months|
|Wild rice||4-5 days|
|Bamboo rice||Maximum 12 months|
Raw white rice can be eaten for years if stored in the freezer, but cooked rice is best used up to 4-6 months. Raw and well-preserved white rice can last four to five years if stored properly, even at room temperature. Boiled brown rice lasts less, 3-5 days, while wild rice lasts the same as white rice.
Dry white rice lasts almost forever, while dry brown rice lasts about a year before going rancid. For brown rice, each grain has an intact outer layer of bran (where the oil is) so it will keep for a year to a year and a half (for example, Bens Original suggests 16 months). Properly stored in the pantry, brown rice will last three to six months; in the refrigerator for six to twelve months; and in the freezer for 12-18 months with the highest quality, albeit for an indefinite period.
Apart from brown or wild rice, properly stored packaged rice can be stored indefinitely, up to decades under the right conditions. A BYU study that sampled milled and parboiled rice stored for 1 to 30 years found that both types of rice retain their nutritional value and taste for up to 30 years. Most types of rice, including white, wild, basmati and jasmine rice, have an indefinite shelf life. Not all different varieties, such as wild, white, jasmine, brown, basmati, and arborio rice, are created equally, so different varieties have different shelf lives.
Raw white rice, as well as wild rice, arborio, jasmine, and basmati, have an indefinite shelf life when stored in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. Raw rice does not need to be refrigerated, but dry white rice, wild rice, jasmine rice, basmati rice, and arborio rice can last for years if kept unopened at room temperature. Raw rice can be stored in the refrigerator or in a cool dry place to keep it fresh. Store dry rice in a cool, dry place away from strong odors it can absorb.
Storing dry rice in the freezer can cause freezer burns – to avoid this, store rice in an oxygen-free, freezer-safe container. The best way to prevent freezer burn is to store rice in a safe, oxygen-free container. For optimum quality, freeze rice for no more than three months to avoid frostbite, which can cause dehydration and affect the quality, taste, and appearance of the rice.
If you know that your rice can last more than two days in the refrigerator, it’s best to freeze it. Freezing cooked rice is a great way to make sure leftovers don’t go rancid in the fridge, and you can conveniently defrost it anytime before eating. To keep rice as long as possible, you need to seal it in an airtight container, and dry or cooked rice are great foods to vacuum pack for maximum freshness and longevity.
To protect rice from insects and mold, store it in a cool, dry place. Before adding rice to a pot of water, make sure it is free of nasty mold. Carefully inspect chilled rice before reheating it, because if it has been contaminated it can become moldy within a day of being placed in the refrigerator (I was there).
For a double guarantee of keeping raw rice fresh (if you live in a humid environment or are prone to insects or other pests), you can store the grains in the refrigerator or freeze in an airtight container just in case. The safest way to protect rice from insects after opening the package is to place it in a freezer bag or airtight container.
Cooked white rice will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, but make sure it is kept at a stable temperature during this time and stored in an airtight container. All cooked rice can dry out and become chewy in the refrigerator. Storing cooked rice at 0 degrees Fahrenheit certainly extends its shelf life to six months without compromising its quality, but after that time it will remain safe.
Can rice go bad and make you sick?
The leftover rice can be harmful to you. Uncooked rice can have spores that can persist when the rice is cooked. If the rice is kept at room temperature for too long, those spores become bacteria and cause food poisoning.
How long can you keep dry rice?
Brown rice has a shorter shelf life than white rice. White or milled rice may be preserved for an endless amount of time if properly stored. Brown rice, on the other hand, has a shelf life of about five to six months due to the existence of an oil coating on it.
Is it OK to eat old rice?
When it concerns to leftovers, cooked rice is nothing to be afraid of. If you keep it out of the danger zone, chill it fast, store it correctly, and again heat it to 74 degrees C, you’ll have wonderfully tasty and nutritional rice even the second time.