Can rice go bad?

In this brief article, we will answer the question can rice go bad and three side effects of bad rice on health.

Can rice go bad?

No, rice cannot go bad they have indefinite shelf life, if it stays dry it does not go bad. If rice gets attacked by insects like rice weevils, it is no longer edible or consumable.

Rice is the seed of a grass species and is widely consumed as food. It is a staple food of a lot of countries around the world and consumed in large amounts. There are several ways to use rice like consuming it as a food product, using rice water, using it to husk and many more applications.

Nutritional value of rice:

Rice is an ultimate source of nutrition with an adequate supply of Carbohydrates, Proteins, lipids, and Dietary fibers. It also has Vitamins and minerals especially processed white rich and has additional folates and vitamins in it.

Rice is low on Fibers but there is still dietary fiber present in it. It provides 130 calories per serving and is rich in nutrients. That means in ½ cup of rice there are as many calories as 130, which is more than enough when you are consuming more than one serving.

Shelf life of rice:

Rice has a very long shelf life, more than 1 year depending on its storage condition. Normally if rice is stored in a seal packed packaging it stays safe for 4 to 5 years or even longer. It also depends, if you are storing cooked or uncooked rice and what variety of rice you are storing.

In case of uncooked white rice, it stays safe in proper storage for 4-5 years in the kitchen pantry. But uncooked brown rice lasts only for 6-8 months in the pantry, if you refrigerate it the shelf life increases to 8-12 months.

Cooked rice has a very short shelf life as compared to uncooked rice, as they have more moisture and other added ingredients too. You can’t store cooked rice in the kitchen, so you have to refrigerate it. Refrigerated cooked white rice stays for 5-7 days and if frozen you can use them for 6-8 months. Refrigerated brown rice lasts for 5-7 days and 6-8 months when frozen.

The shelf life of rice is very long and depends on the storage condition. If stored properly shelf life of life increases and it does not go bad very quickly. If not attacked by insects, and there is no change in moisture then rice does not go bad.

How to tell if rice is bad?

Rice has indefinite shelf life if stored properly, and it does not go bad. It is hard to tell when rice goes bad because it does not smell in general. But there are certain identifications to recognize if rice goes bad. Some of them are as follows:

  • One thing to look out for is presence of weevil, it is a tiny reddish-brown bug that spoils your rice
  • Spoiled brown rice becomes greasy or oily and starts to give rancid smell
  • Spoiled rice or bad rice gets oxidized, this is characterized by rancid smell and oily look in rice

Other FAQs about Rice which you may be interested in.

How many pounds of rice per person?

Can you use arborio rice for sushi?

Can you freeze uncooked rice?

How to store rice?

The best way to store rice in an airtight container to protect it from moisture, weevil, insects, and environmental pollution. Airtight packaging protects rice from going bad and spoiling, if conditions don’t change airtight packaged rice can stay safe for a long period of time.

To store cooked rice, you should use a container with a lid or cover. To avoid freezing stress, it is better to refrigerate cooked rice. In order to freeze rice, you can use oxygen free rice, oxygen causes freezer burn and to avoid this, it is better to freeze rice in an airtight container.

When storing rice in a pantry, place it in a cold dark place. To store uncooked rice, you can use plastic, jute or other types of packaging. But whatever packaging you are using it is best to keep as free of moisture as possible. Discard the rice if you see weevils moving in it or if it starts to give a rancid smell.

Side effects of expired rice consumption:

Even though rice has a long shelf life it still can go bad if required storage conditions are not followed. It is best to discard expired rice or throw them away. If you accidentally consume expired rice, it really affects your health. Some of them are as follows:

1.       Bad rice or spoiled rice are often as a result of a mold, this mold produces a mycotoxin.  Mycotoxins cause nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

2.       In expired rice the toxins of Bacillus cereus are found which leads to abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

3.       If rice is not stored after cooking it also develops Bacillus Intoxication in it, it is best to refrigerate cooked rice after two hours of cooking


In this brief article, we have answered the question can rice go bad and explained three side effects of bad rice on health