What happens If you eat expired rice? (+3 Tips)

In this article, we will answer the question “What happens If you eat expired rice?”, and how to store 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. 

Shelf-life of dry rice 

The shelf-life of dry rice varies with the rice type. The most common rice types are brown and white rice. Brown rice, being minimally processed, contains higher levels of fat or oil which is prone to rancidity. 

Despite this, both types of rice including the milled and polished white rice are shelf-stable and can be stored at room temperature. 

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

How to tell whether dry rice has expired?

Shelf-stable products including dry rice come with a best-by or use-by date which is a rough estimation of how long the product will keep in its prime quality. It is not an indication of safety. 

Thus, If stored correctly, dry rice can be consumed past the printed date. Before consuming such rice, inspect the rice for spoilage. Check If there are any holes, bugs, or moisture present in the rice. 

In the case of brown rice, in addition to the previously mentioned signs of spoilage, check for a rancid smell or an oily texture. 

How long does cooked rice last?

In the fridge, cooked rice, despite the type of rice, will stay fresh for about 3-4 days. Correctly stored, It may last up to a week in the fridge. In the freezer, the shelf-life is extended to as long as 8 months.

(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
Wild rice 5-7 days 6-8 months

How to tell whether cooked rice has expired?

  • Cooked rice gives off a funny smell. That’s how you know It is bad and unsafe for consumption.
  • Pay attention to the texture of the rice. If It feels slimy or gooey upon touching, It has gone bad.
  • Mold growth is visible in the form of black, green, or blue spots on rice in which case you should immediately discard the rice.

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How to store cooked rice?

Cooked rice has a high moisture content which is ideal for microbial growth. Therefore, cooked rice must not sit unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.

In the fridge 

If the cooked rice is to be consumed within a few days, It should be kept in the fridge. Before transferring the rice to an air-tight container, let the rice cool for at least 15-20 minutes. If you store warm rice in the fridge, steam drops accumulate on the inside of the container which can harbor microbes.

In the freezer

For long-term storage of cooked rice, freezing is the way to go. Just like storing cooked rice in the fridge, let the rice cool before freezing. Once cooled down, transfer h=the rice to an air-tight container or a resealable bag and chuck it in the freezer.

How to store uncooked white rice?

In the pantry

A cool pantry with no temperature fluctuations is a safe and convenient way to store uncooked white rice. After opening the package or in case of the damaged original packaging, transfer the rice to an air-tight container or a freezer bag to keep the insects at bay.

In the freezer 

For long-term storage, freezing uncooked white rice is a good idea. Ideally, you should use an oxygen-free air-tight container to freeze the rice. But a freezing bag or a regular air-tight container would also do the job. Remove as much air as possible from the bag before freezing rice.

How to store uncooked brown rice?

In the pantry 

Brown rice is highly susceptible to rancidity. To get the longest shelf-life, make sure the rice is tightly sealed at all times. Using oxygen absorbers, garlic cloves or bay leaves to prevent insects from contaminating the rice.


In this article, we answered the question “What happens If you eat expired rice?”, and how to store rice?




Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.