How long can you store rice?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long can you store rice?”, and how to tell if the rice has gone bad?

How long can you store rice?

The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of different varieties of rice under different storage conditions.

In the pantry In the fridge In the freezer 
Past Printed Date Past printed Date Past Printed Date 
White Rice4-5 Years
Oxygen-Free White Rice25-30 years 30 years 
Brown rice 6-8 Months8-12 months 
Wild Rice6-8 Months
Minute rice 4-5 Years
(Cooked)In the pantry In the fridge In the freezer 
White Rice—-5-7 days 6-8 months 
Brown rice —-4-5 days 6-8 months
White rice —-5-7 days 6-8 months

For long-term storage of rice, use Food-safe plastics (PETE) containers, glass jars, #10 cans (commercial size) lined with a food-grade enamel lining, and Mylar®-type bags.

How to tell if the dry rice has expired?

Shelf-stable foods can be safely consumed past the expiry date if stored correctly. Such foods often come with a best-by or use-by date instead of expiry date. 

Inspect the package of dry rice for the signs of spoilage like the presence of bugs moisture, mold, or holes. 

Brown rice tends to go rancid. Therefore, a sharp rancid smell of spoiled brown rice won’t go unnoticed. 

Other than that, you may also notice discolorations or an oily texture. To prevent the dry rice from going bad, always keep the rice package somewhere cool, dry, and dark. 

How long does cooked rice last?

Once cooked, all types of rice have pretty much the same shelf-life and it is quite short unless you freeze it. 

Freezing prolongs the shelf-life of the cooked rice upto 8 months. While refrigerated say good only for up to a week. They are best consumed within 3-4 days. 

How to tell if the cooked rice has gone bad?

Freshly cooked rice has a very pleasant or neutral odor. Contrary to that, expired cooked rice will give off a strange smell that is a telltale of its spoilage or bad quality. 

Unlike the fluffy and airy texture of freshly cooked rice, expired rice will have a sticky or gooey and slimy texture. 

You may also notice mold growing on the surface of the cooked rice in the form of blue, black, or green colored fuzzy patches or spots. If you notice any of the aforementioned signs of spoilage, you should get rid of the cooked rice. 

What happens if you eat expired rice?

Expired rice contaminated with mold contains mycotoxins that lead to food poisoning upon ingestion which is reflected in stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, etc. Convulsions, coma, and impaired immunity result in severe cases. 

In addition to compromising safety, expired rice has a poor nutritional profile. Bacillus cereus is a common bacteria that contaminate rice. Make sure you refrigerate or freeze your cooked rice within 2 hours of cooking to prevent contamination. 

How to prepare rice and save it for later?

Boil and wash the rice according to the type of rice that you use. After that, swirl it gently so that the grains maintain their shape and do not create a mushy structure.

It is best to use stored and chilled rice to make fried rice because they dry out a bit during refrigeration reducing the chances of becoming sticky or mushy when fried.

How to use or store leftover rice?

Store any rice leftovers within 1-2 hours of cooking. Make sure the rice is at room temperature before storing them in the fridge. 

Starchy food kept in moist and warm environments favors the growth of Bacillus cereus, a spore-forming bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses and commonly contaminates rice and potato.

Nutrition and allergies

Rice is a rich source of starch and fiber with no known common allergies associated with it. Ir provides sodium scarcely and remains a good source of protein. White rice is often enriched with the nutrients and minerals like niacin, thiamin, and folic acid.

Storage conditions 

Ideally, all the grains including rice should be stored at a temperature of 40℉ or below. Despite that, you can get a shelf-life of 10 years out of white dry rice if you store it at a steady temperature of 70℉ with oxygen absorbers. 

If the storage area is cooler (below 70℉), rice stored in oxygen-free or air-tight containers lasts about 30 years. 

In most cases under proper storage, polished and parboiled rice was able to preserve the nutrients and flavor for 1-30 years. 


In this article, we answered the question “How long can you store rice?”, and how to tell if the rice has gone bad?


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.