How to Tell if Uncooked Rice is Bad?

Rice is an essential ingredient in many cuisines due to its great adaptability in the kitchen. Rice comes in various colors and textures, including white, brown, basmati, wild, and jasmine, to name a few. Regardless of the variety you favor, you may be curious about how long rice lasts. It’s pretty simple to tell if dried rice has gone rotten. Inspect the package for symptoms of decomposition, such as holes, bugs, moisture, or wetness, which could lead to mold growth. This article discusses when uncooked or dry rice goes terribly and the risks of eating outdated rice.


When it comes to spoiling, brown rice is the most typical problem. It has more oils and is more likely to get stinky than white rice. It may, however, be kept refrigerated and frozen for months. Rice won’t smell awful immediately, but the odd flavor and odor will intensify as it ages. If unsure, give it a couple of days to check if it tastes delicious.

How to Tell if Uncooked Rice Is Bad?

Signs that your uncooked or dry rice has gone wrong or is unsafe to eat include:

  • The first and most obvious way to know if rice is bad is through its smell. Depending on the cooking method, it could smell like sitting on a counter for days. If it smells fishy, it’s likely spoiled rice.
  • The starch in rice will not be adequately digested and will contain harmful bacteria. Fresh rice can be refrigerated for several days and still be okay.
  • Uncooked rice can contain Bacillus cereus spores, which can survive cooking and grow into bacteria, producing toxins that cause diarrhea and vomiting. So, when shopping for rice, check its expiry date.
  • If any of these items end up in the bag, it’s time to toss it. Aside from the jokes, toss out the bag and inspect neighboring food products for bugs. Those creatures swiftly spread unless you don’t mind a little more protein in your rice.
  • Mold typically appears within a few days of either being present, and you have no idea how far the decay has progressed. Could you remove it from your life?

To limit any of the above, you should follow proper storage practices. Let’s talk about those.

How to Store Dry or Uncooked White Rice?

Here are the two options to store dry or uncooked white rice:


It is the most convenient rice to keep without fear of spoilage. The original packaging should be kept in the dark, dry pantry at a constant low temperature. After opening a package, the best way to keep rice secure from insects is to store it in a freezer bag or an airtight container.


Keep it in the freezer if you want to prevent white rice from spoiling for a few months. Transfer it to a freezer bag or an airtight container after removing it from the original packaging. Before sealing the bag, make sure there is no additional air within.

However, keeping your rice in an oxygen-free container is best to avoid freezer burn. Your rice will stay eatable and free of dust, bugs, and vermin for decades if stored in this manner.

How to Store Dry or Uncooked Brown Rice?


You can store brown rice this way for about half a year, but take care to seal it properly and keep it away from moisture and insects.

  • You can try to keep cloves of garlic or dried bay leaves in a container to protect rice from insects.
  • If you find a container with an oxygen absorber, use it to preserve your rice for a long time. The only stipulation is that you maintain it well-sealed to keep insects out of your food. Rice, unfortunately, will go rancid over time.


This is a strategy to extend the shelf life of brown rice by about two years. You won’t have to thaw this product before using it because it has a low moisture content.

How Long Does Rice Last?

Rice, raw and undercooked, has a long shelf life. Rice generally has an indefinite shelf life, and the highest quality is kept for at least two years. Because the inclusion of spices makes it less durable than pure rice, mixed and seasoned rice has a lower shelf life. It is generally recommended for a period of up to 18 months.
A “best before” or “best by” date is stamped on the label, just like other packaged goods. For your purchase and consumption, keep this date in mind.

Rice’s quality may deteriorate significantly after opening due to moisture exposure. It’s advised to utilize it within a year of purchase. Rice only lasts a few days in the refrigerator once cooled, and rice’s shelf life can be extended for up to half a year by freezing it.

Can You Freeze Uncooked Rice?

Rice can be frozen, both cooked and uncooked. Freezing rice uncooked helps prolong its shelf life to keep for longer, especially for brown rice, because of the small number of natural oils in its kernels! So, we’ll show you how to freeze uncooked rice.

  1. Place uncooked rice in a labeled freezer bag.
  2. Remove as much air as possible.
  3. Store it flat for more space.
  4. Cook as expected – there is no need to defrost before using.

Uncooked white rice has an infinite shelf life, even though producers must label the expiration date on the container. Fill it up to the brim and relax while enjoying this nutritious meal. However, whether you keep brown rice raw or cooked, you should be cautious when holding it.

How Dangerous Is Eating Spoiled Rice?

The structure of white and brown rice is what distinguishes them. The Brown type has a shorter shelf life than white because it retains husk, germ, and bran eliminated from the white variety. On the other hand, it’s packed with essential nutrients.

Brown rice is particularly perishable due to leftover exterior components. Therefore you risk food sickness if you eat rotten rice. You will most likely have vomiting and diarrhea if you eat reheated, week-old rice containing Bacillus cereus spores.

The earliest symptoms will show 1 to 5 hours after eating spoiled rice, although they will generally pass in less than 24 hours. Always serve rice immediately away after cooking or keep it refrigerated for a few hours. To avoid spore growth, never reheat this food more than once or leave it at room temperature for an extended period.


Dry rice has a different shelf life than cooked rice. However, once cooked, all types of rice have the same shelf life. Dry white rice can survive up to two years when maintained at room temperature, whereas brown rice only lasts approximately six months. They have a longer shelf life if they are refrigerated or frozen. Cooked rice should be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days, and it can also be frozen for a more extended period. If you notice any changes in the rice’s smell, taste, texture, and signs of mold development or bugs, throw it straight.

The next time you buy rice, pay attention to its shelf life. White rice will go bad after six months, while brown rice has a longer shelf life. It will last for around a year and a half in the fridge or longer in the freezer. You can check the shelf life of the rice by looking at the package. It also depends on whether it’s cooked or uncooked. Check with a dietitian or nutritionist if you want to eat it later.

Uncooked rice is opaque, challenging, and may make you ill. If it is mushy, it is not adequately cooked and will become sticky and unpalatable when reheated. You can also smell lousy rice, but that doesn’t mean it’s terrible. While it’s possible to tell if the rice is bad by sight alone, you can also taste it to ensure it’s the right consistency.