Shelf Life of
Rice

How Long Does Rice Last?

Shelf Life of Rice

How long does rice last? The shelf life of rice is influenced by a variety of factors, such as the type of rice, whether it is cooked or not, its packaging and how it is stored. It is the most important staple food for a large part of the world’s human population, providing more than one fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by the human species. Like pasta, another grain, rice comes in a variety of types (white, brown, wild, short grain, long grain, etc.) and is often mixed with spices. Because of its relatively low cost, high calorie density, long shelf life and strong nutritional qualities, it is no wonder that it is enjoyed by billions of people daily. However, not all rice is created equal. So how long does white, brown or wild rice last?

When properly stored, the shelf life of rice is approximately…

(Raw) Pantry Refrigerator Freezer
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date Past Printed Date
White Rice lasts for 4-5 Years
Oxygen Free White Rice* lasts 25-30 Years 30* Years
Brown Rice lasts for 6-8 Months 8-12 Months
Wild Rice lasts for 6-8 Months
Minute Rice lasts for 4-5 Years
(Cooked) Pantry Refrigerator Freezer
White Rice lasts for 5-7 Days 6-8 Months
Brown Rice lasts for 4-5 Days 6-8 Months
Wild Rice lasts for 5-7 Days 6-8 Months




** Polished white rice, when sealed in an oxygen-free container at 40°F or below, can be stored for up to 30 years. [1]
Of course, all food lasts for a shorter period of time if it is not stored properly. But remember, brown and white rice, like a lot of other grains, usually have a best by date and not an expiration date. Because of this, you can safely use it beyond the best by date.

How to tell if rice is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Since rice has an indefinite shelf life if kept dry, it is hard to tell if it has gone bad. One thing to watch for is the presence of the rice weevil, a tiny reddish-brown bug. If you see these moving in your product, you should discard the entire container and disinfect the container and the surrounding shelves.
Expired brown rice, on the other hand, is easier to spot. Brown rice may become oily and give off a rancid odor because of its essential fatty acids that go bad as they oxidize.
Cooked rice that has gone bad will show a loss of texture as it hardens and then can grow mold.
If your rice has gone bad and you need a quick substitute check our page on rice substitutes.
There are of course certain health risks associated with spoiled rice, so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy it prior to its expiration.

How to store rice to extend its shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the expiration date of food. The best way to store it is in an airtight container in the pantry or another cool dark place with a constant temperature.
Once prepared, it should be refrigerated in an airtight container to keep out moisture and other contaminants. Do not allow cooked food to sit out at room temperature for an extended period, two hours is maximum for proper food safety.
For a long term option, you can freeze your dry rice while preserving its taste if you use an oxygen-free (oxygen is the source of freezer burn) freezer safe container.
Cooked rice may also be frozen, but it is not recommended since it will most likely become mushy when re-heated.
Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Interesting Facts about Rice?

  • Brown rice is a whole natural grain with only the hull removed, thus the fats between the remaining layers cause it to spoil more easily than white, which has been milled and stripped of all it’s layers and nutrients. Enriched rice has some of the nutrients chemically returned, but brown rice naturally retains almost all of the nutrients. Brown rice is also chewier and nuttier in flavor because of these natural layers.
  • Due to its low moisture content, white rice can keep almost indefinitely. This extended shelf life is a huge benefit to underdeveloped countries.

  • How long is rice good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long does rice last? That depends. How long does fish last? In general, any food will only last as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe. To find out how long other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below!

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    What are our shelf life resourses?

    Our shelf life of rice content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scour the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of rice.

    *An important note about expiration dates…

    Although the shelf life information provided by Eat By Date is generally reliable, it is in no way intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified health care provider. Please eat responsibly!