Does Uncooked White Rice Go Bad? How Long Does Uncooked White Rice Last?

It’s always good to have some extra rice around the house, but just how long can that rice last?  Does uncooked white rice actually go bad?  It’s important to find out how long-term your long-term storage can last.

Quick Answer

Unlike brown rice, uncooked white rice has an indefinite shelf life.

  • Uncooked white rice can be stored in the pantry, fridge, or freezer.
  • It should be stored in a cool, dry place.
  • Keep it in an airtight container to avoid contamination.
  • Uncooked white rice that has become moist should be thrown away.
  • If you spot any mold, pests, or spots on the rice, throw it away as it has been contaminated.


Although uncooked white rice is easy to store, there are some variations on how and where you can store it.

Does Uncooked White Rice Go Bad? How Long Does Uncooked White Rice Last?

There are several places you can store your white rice.  It’s best to understand how each of them will affect the lifespan of your rice.

How Long Does Uncooked White Rice Last Outside

As you may have figured out by this point, uncooked white rice has an indefinite shelf life, even when kept outside of the fridge or freezer.  The pantry is a perfectly safe place to keep it.

This is good news for most people, as the pantry is the most common place to store uncooked white rice.  This means that unless it is contaminated, your rice should be just fine as it is.

The best way to prevent contamination is to keep your rice in an airtight container.  If you’ve already opened the bag or box of rice, it’s best to transfer it to a new container or bag.

How Long Does Uncooked White Rice Last in the Fridge

If you want to be a little extra certain that your rice is going to stay good for a long time, you may want to keep it in the fridge.  Although it should last indefinitely either way, refrigeration can help.

Refrigerating rice can provide an extra line of defense against pests.  It can also help your rice to maintain its freshness for a longer amount of time than in the pantry.

Once again, remember to keep your rice in an airtight container.  You also do not want moisture to get in it, so be sure to keep it in a dry area.

How Long Does Uncooked White Rice Last in the Freezer

For those who want to be as sure as possible that their rice is going to stay good forever, rice can be frozen.  Once again, its shelf life is indefinite, but freezing it can help make sure nothing happens.

Freezing uncooked rice is a popular method to prevent pests from invading.  If you’re worried about contamination, freezing your rice is your best bet.  It will also help to extend the freshness.

As always, keep your rice in an airtight bag or container when storing it to prevent possible contamination, even in the freezer.  While pests don’t typically survive in the freezer, it’s not worth the risk.

Uncooked white rice will stay good indefinitely in most circumstances.  Just be sure to store it in an airtight container and watch out for signs of contamination.


How To Tell If Uncooked White Rice Has Gone Bad / How To Know Uncooked White Rice is Fresh

Even though white rice doesn’t usually go bad, it can become contaminated.  Here are some contaminants to look out for.

Mold.  Any time you see mold on your rice, you should throw it out.  This is a contaminant and could cause illness if ingested.  Even if only part of the rice is moldy, all of the rice in the bag or container should be thrown out.

Rice weevils.  A relatively common pest found in uncooked white rice is rice weevils.  These can be hard to see if you aren’t looking for them, but easy to see if you are.  They are small, reddish-colored bugs that should stand out against the white rice.  If you see them, throw the rice out.

Other bugs.  Rice weevils aren’t the only potential pest to be found in uncooked white rice.  Other types of bugs may invade your rice as well.  Any time you see any bugs in your rice, you should throw your rice away.

Moisture.  Your rice should be kept in a perfectly dry location, to prevent contamination.  If you find any water or moisture in your uncooked white rice, you should throw it away.

Odor.  White rice is not known for its smell.  If you notice any strange odor coming from your rice, it is probably contaminated and should be thrown away.

Appearance/texture change.  If you notice any other change in the appearance or texture in your uncooked white rice, you should probably throw it away.  If you’re not sure, you should err on the side of caution and throw it out.

How to Store Uncooked White Rice?

Uncooked white rice is easy to store, but there are still some general guidelines to follow.

Somewhere dry.  It is very important to keep your uncooked rice as dry as possible.  If it becomes moist, there is a risk of contamination, such as mold.

Somewhere cool.  Rice should be kept in a cool location.  In most cases, a pantry will work just fine, but a fridge or freezer are also good options, especially if your home is especially warm.

Somewhere airtight.  The best way to prevent your rice from becoming contaminated is to keep it in an airtight container or bag, sealed tightly.

Can You Freeze Uncooked White Rice? How?

The best way to protect your rice from contaminants is to freeze it.  If you want to preserve your rice, here’s how you can do it.

Consider pre-portioning it.  If you have a lot of rice to freeze, you might want to pre-portion it by putting your rice into multiple separate containers.  This could make it easier to thaw and use later, so you don’t have to thaw it all at once.

Put it in an airtight container or bag.  Store your rice in an airtight bag or container.  Make sure you seal it tightly to prevent moisture or contaminants from getting in.

Consider labelling the container or bag.  Some people prefer to label their containers with the dates that they are freezing them.  This is not really necessary for uncooked white rice due to its indefinite shelf life, but some people do anyway.

Put it in the freezer.  That’s it!  Your rice is ready to freeze.  Go ahead and put it in the freezer.  If it is in a bag, it is recommended to lay it on its side, as this will help with thawing.

How to Thaw Uncooked White Rice?

It’s pretty easy to thaw and use your frozen rice.  Simply take it out of the freezer and leave it on the counter for a little while, until the iciness is gone.

If you’re in a hurry, you don’t actually have to thaw out your rice before using it.  You can use your rice straight out of the freezer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Uncooked White Rice’s Shelf Life

Although storing rice is fairly straightforward, it can spoil if contaminated, so you might still have some questions about storing uncooked white rice.

My white rice turned yellow, what does that mean?  Is it safe to eat?  It is possible for white rice that has been stored improperly to turn yellow.  This is caused by yellow mold, and should not be eaten; throw it away immediately.  This can lead to something called “yellow rice disease”, and can be potentially deadly.

Is storing brown rice the same as storing white rice?  Uncooked brown rice is very different from uncooked white rice because of its oil content.  While uncooked white rice can be stored indefinitely, brown rice can spoil after a certain amount of time, usually six to twelve months or longer, depending on how you store it.

Wrap Up

If you take the steps necessary to prevent contamination, uncooked white rice will last forever.  Fortunately, it’s very easy to store, meaning that you should have no problem keeping your rice good for a long time.

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