Can you eat expired white rice?

In this article, we answer the following question: Can you eat expired white rice? We discuss how long raw and cooked rice last, how to preserve or freeze rice. 

Can you eat expired white rice?

You can safely eat expired white rice. White rice can last for several hundred years if it is not disturbed by pests or moisture. The proof is the provisions made by the pharaohs and found intact after hundreds of years in the pyramids. The rule only applies to white rice. 

The brown one should be consumed in a maximum of six to eight months. That’s because the outer shell of the grain (the one that is removed to make white rice) contains some oils that make it expire much faster. I think this was one of the reasons why the rice was processed and not left as it is given by nature: white rice lasts longer on the shelf, so there are fewer losses and higher profits.

How long does cooked rice last?

We, or at least most of us, have the belief that once refrigerated, food can be kept intact for a long time in our pantry without suffering any decomposition.

However, food has a breakdown time, regardless of whether it is raw or cooked. This is how the specialists in this matter specify that the deterioration of the same is of a physical, chemical, biochemical and microbiological nature, so it is of the utmost importance to keep in mind the duration of these in the refrigerator.

In this regard, the United States Department of Agriculture maintains that cooked foods have a shelf life of three to four days. The instance clarifies that refrigeration undoubtedly reduces bacterial growth in meals, but does not prevent them.

Why shouldn’t we save the rice from one day to the next?

Rice is in the spotlight lately. It is a basic cereal in the diet of thousands and thousands of people around the world, but its poor preservation has made it a food safety hazard.

When the rice is at room temperature, it offers perfect temperature conditions for bacteria: at that moment it is full of moisture and nutrients. This makes the bacteria run wild and, incidentally, create heat-stable toxins. It is best to eat freshly cooked rice, but in many cases, the food is left over and is left for the next day.

At this time it is essential to be careful since the risk of poisoning is high. The way you preserve the rice is key to avoid suffering a health problem, which can give us more than one dislike.

How to preserve rice

The most common when it comes to preserving any meal or food is to let it rest at room temperature once it is cooked. Then, when the room temperature has been reached, store it in the refrigerator.

In the case of rice, the best thing you can do, if you have a portion left over for another day, is to put it directly in the refrigerator. This way it will cool down much earlier and you will prevent bacteria from taking over the place.

The other option to keep the rice free of bacteria is not to let it cool down at any time, that is, to keep it always warm, although this is more complicated than the previous option. It may be a restaurant favorite.

If you intend to consume the rice at room temperature, it is best to acidify it. This is what they do with dishes in which rice is required to be at this temperature, for example, rice salads or sushi.

With these tips, you will keep the rice in good condition and you will enjoy this delicious food without risks.

How to freeze rice

Adding a little vegetable oil to the rice is a great way to prevent the grains from sticking together and keep the texture good while in the freezer.

Here are the tips for freezing rice:

  • Put the rice in a piece of cling film. Depending on how much you want to freeze, divide the rice to create multiple portions. Wrap the rice with the film, forming tightly closed packages so that they are protected from ice.
  • Keep packages in an airtight freezer bag. If you don’t have this type of bag, use a plastic container.
  • Be sure to remove the air from the bag before closing it. This will keep the food fresh.
  • Place the container or bag in the freezer. Make sure the container or bag is flat so that ice does not form around and it is easier for thawing.
  • Make sure that the rice is not crushed by other containers.

Frozen rice can be stored for a month. Despite this, it is important not to take it out of the freezer until you eat it.


In this article, we answered the following question: Can you eat expired white rice? We discussed how long raw and cooked rice last, how to preserve or freeze rice. 

We remind you that white rice does not expire and that it can be safely eaten even if expired. If we are speaking of cooked rice, however, it should not be consumed after three or four days in the refrigerator. 

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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