Rice is a popular and staple food in many homesteads. Rice contains several nutrients and can incredibly improve your health. However, a few things like storage can compromise the quality of rice.

There are several rice varieties, including jasmine, white, brown, basmati, and many others. Regardless of the type you choose, one question will always linger in your mind: How long can it keep? It is obvious that uncooked rice always keeps for long, depending on the variety, but knowing the exact duration they can take is important. This will help you stock only the required amount in your pantry that you can consume before it goes bad. This article will help you learn how long uncooked and cooked rice can keep and dangers associated with eating spoilt rice.

Shelf Life of Uncooked or Dry Rice

The duration the uncooked rice takes before they go bad largely depends on the type. It is true that rice comes in varied types, however, the most common types are white and brown rice. Telling the difference between their shelf life is important. Brown rice is a whole grain, meaning that it is not milled or polished. As a result, it can go bad more quickly than white rice. Still, the United States Department of Agriculture considers them shelf-stable. This means that they can perfectly store at room temperature. Below is the shelf-life of different types of rice:

White rice:

Can store between four to five years in the pantry and indefinitely both in fridge and freezer from date of manufacture.

Brown rice:

Can keep for six to eight months in the pantry, up to one year in the fridge, and up to 12 to 18 months in the freezer, from the date of manufacture.

Jasmine rice:

Can keep for four to five years in the pantry from the date of manufacture. It can however, last indefinitely in both fridge and freezer.

Wild rice:

Can also keep for four to five years in the pantry and indefinitely in both fridge and freezer.

Freezing and refrigeration significantly prolong the shelf of rice.

How To Tell If Uncooked Rice Has Become Rancid

Any food that is shelf-stable has to expire at one point. The expiration date is clearly indicated on the packet, often referred to as “best before” or “use before.” However, these foods can still be used even after the date, only if there are signs of spoiling on the package of the product. Telling whether uncooked rice has become rancid is somewhat easy. All you need to do is to check the package for signs of spoilage. This may include dampness, holes, water, or bugs that can make mold grow in the rice. For brown rice, you may also determine its expiry by looking for discolorations, smell, texture, or rancid. Brown rice tend to be oily to touch if it has gone bad. In addition, any type of rice may contain weevils or have some red spots. The weevils after proliferating the grain, will multiply, lay eggs, and make the rice dustier. This may indicate that it has spoiled. Checking the texture is also important, as an expired rice will become crumbly, dry, and hard. They may also stick together and form clumps.

How Long Can Cooked Rice Last?

Unlike uncooked rice, which has a varied shelf life depending on the type, cooked rice has the same shelf life for all types. Still, there may be slight differences when it comes to storage in the fridge or freezer. All cooked rice is considered safe for only two hours in the pantry. White cooked rice can last for five to seven days in the fridge and six to eight months in the freezer. Brown cooked rice can keep for four to five days in the fridge and for two months while frozen. Jasmine cooked rice can last for four to six days in the fridge and two months in the freezer. Wild cooked rice can keep for four to six days in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer. Averagely, all cooked rice can keep for up to eight months in a frozen state.

How To Tell If Cooked Rice Has Gone Bad

You can easily tell whether your cooked rice has gone bad in many ways. First, you can take a close look at the texture. A spoiled cooked rice is often slimy and gooey. Second, smell it. Just like any other food, expired cooked rice has an unpleasant smell. Third and lastly, look for mold on the rice. Expired rice will have green, black, or blue spots. If you think that your rice has gone bad, it will help not to eat. Discard it instead.

How To Store Cooked Rice

Cooed rice is usually moist, which increases its susceptibility to bacterial growth. If you want to keep it safely for further consumption, you may want to store it correctly. Given that cooked rice cannot stand room temperature for long, freezing or refrigeration is the best option. If you are planning to store cooked rice in a fridge, you will have to cool it for approximately fifteen to twenty minutes, put it in a clean container or bag, seal it, then place it in the fridge. On the other hand, if you plan to keep your cooked rice in a frozen state, you must first cool it. You can do this by spreading it out on a baking sheet. Thereafter, you can put it into an airtight container and place it in the freezer.

Dangers of Eating Rice That Has Gone Bad

Expired rice is usually contaminated by fungi or mold. By proliferating in the rice, they release mycotoxins that can cause food poisoning. Ingestion of mycotoxins is associated with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and convulsion. In severe cases, it may result in coma, compromised immunity, or increased risk of cancer.


Rice is a nutritional food that many people rely on for survival. Depending on variety and storage conditions, rice may last for varying amounts of days. Keeping rice in the fridge or freezer extends its shelf life. If you notice mold or an unpleasant smell in either cooked or uncooked rice, you need to discard it to protect your health.


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For the past years, Tatyana has worked as a sex blogger and a relationship advisor. She has been featured in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue. Vice, Tatler, Vanity Fair, and many others. Since 2016, Tatyana has focused on sexology, attended various training courses, participated in international conferences and congresses. “I wish people would address sexual issues in a timely manner! Forget shyness, prejudice and feel free to see a sex doctor for help or advice!” Tanya enjoys pursuing her flare for creativity through modelling, graffiti art, astronomy, and technology.

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