How Long Does Rice Last? Read More About Cooked & Uncooked, Fridged & Frozen, and Storing Long-Term

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Mike Roth

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How Long Does Rice Last

Rice is a food that serves more than half of the world’s population. Have you ever thought, How Long Does Rice Last? You’ll find out.

Knowing how long rice does last is an important question, not only for the preppers under us. You may also ask how long does rice last when it’s cooked. Or does rice expire?
There are so many different sorts of rice available. And only some of them last the same amount of time.

Here you can find everything you should know regarding rice and long-term storage.

How Long Does Raw Rice last?

The lifespan of rice depends highly on which sort you get. Whether Milled Rice (White, Jasmine, Wild, Basmati Rice) or Whole Grain Rice (Brown Rice).[1]

Milled Rice (White Rice)

White Rice stays for 1 to 2 years good on the shelf.[2] The date printed on the plastic bag is a “best before” date.[3]

After that period, the plastic in which the rice is stored begins to go bad eventually. Thus, air can leak into the container. Rice that comes in contact with high-humidity air starts a re-wetting process and becomes moist, infusing your dry rice with bacteria that start growing endlessly.

That’s the reason why you want to store rice properly. Rice stays suitable for an indefinite amount of time. Read further down about long-term storage.

Whole Grain Rice (Brown Rice)

After the first stage of milling, which removes the hull from rough rice, brown rice is left with the bran layer.[4]

The bran contains natural oils and fat. Due to that, its shelf life is only 3-6 months long. However, the shelf life can be extended with some methods you’ll read further down.

In Short:

White Rice stays for 1 to 2 years good.
Please look at the rice when it was stored to be sure it’s still fine.
Brown Rice stays for six months good due to its natural oils in the barn layer.

How Long Does Cooked Rice last?

Once cooked, no matter which typethe rice should be eaten within a day, as the process of bacterial growth will begin rapidly.

When stored in the refrigerator, opinions about how long it will stay edible are wildly spread.

Some say three days at maximum; others claim it is safe to eat your cooked rice after five days. Always make a quick check if your rice is still edible.

It highly depends on the cooling process after cooking. The best way to do so is to immediately cool down your riceThis will prevent bacterial growth.[5]

However, check that your rice has room temperature before putting it in an airtight container. As condensation is like fuel for bacterial growth.[6]

Frozen cooked rice can stay for six months well. After that, it’ll lose its taste and quality. But frozen rice will outlive you.

In Short:

All sorts of rice stay suitable for a few hours when not refrigerated.
In the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
Frozen rice for six months.

Reasons Rice goes Bad

  • Humidity As said above, when shelf-stored rice comes in contact with air, it will re-wet and start molding.
  • Bacillus Cereus Is a Spore-Forming Bacteria that contaminate rice. These bacterias often survive the cooking process. It is very harmful.[7,8,9]
  • Rice Weevils Beetle Do come mostly within the package of the rice. They are harmless. The rice can be washed out and consumed without a doubt.[10,11,12]
  • Bugs Can easily be avoided by storing rice in a food-grade container.

Is your Rice Expired?

Shelf-stable foods can often be eaten safely after the expiration date. But how long does rice last?

Check that you can’t find any hints of spoiling, mold, or holes in the container and in the grains. Any bugs, moisture, or a strange smell. Slimy and greasy rice is an indicator that its time has come to go.

If you’re curious whether water can go bad, Click Here to find out!

Reheating Rice

When you reheat your rice after being cooled or frozen, it should always reach a temperature of at least 165°F. (74°C).

You might measure this with a food thermometer to be sure all bacteria that might have grown are killed then.

But not Bacilla Cereus; boiling cooking water won’t kill these bacteria. They are revived and converted into potentially harmful bacteria.[13]

So reheating cooked rice can only be done once. The risk is too high that bacillus cereus has grown too far by that point.

When reheating leftover rice in a microwave, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to each cup of rice so it won’t dry out.

Use the highest possible heat level and let it for around 3-4 minutes. Be sure that it gets at least to 165°F (74°C)! Use a food thermometer to be sure.

Storing Rice Long-Term

When you’re a prepper and want to store your rice long-term, store it in a dark and cool area. Below 55°F (13°C), and in containers, with which you’ll be sure no bugs will get in.[14]

Your rice lifespan can highly increase with the following methods:

  • Food-Grade Container
  • Glass Jar
  • Mylar Bag
  • Oxygen Absorber 
  • Vacuum Sealer
  • Refrigerator
  • Freezing

White raw rice in any named container above will last on the shelf for around 4 to 5 years, except brown rice!

When you suck out all oxygen, you’ll make it last for up to 30 years when it’s at 40°F. In the freezer, it will stay good for 30+ Years.

Brown rice in the refrigerator will stay good for 8-12 months.

Last Words

Regarding storage, rice is just one of the foods we write about. Check out our Emergency Food Supply List.