Rice is a staple in many of our diets. More often than not, I always get the quantity wrong and end up with a bunch of leftovers. I refrigerated it, but it made me wonder how long rice lasts in the fridge! If you have the same question, you have come to the right blog!
Cooked rice can last, on average, in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. However, this does depend a lot on how well the rice is stored, the type of rice, and also how the rice is cooked. Freezing is a better option to preserve cooked rice for a few months.
Rice is just one of those things that most people unintentionally end up cooking in very high quantities. Sometimes, even to save time, quite a few people cook large amounts of rice to store it and eat it later.
While this is a great way to save time and energy, a few days later, when you would check on the rice, it would have gone wrong! Rice is not something that you would expect would go bad as quickly, for many reasons.
However, storage plays a significant role in the shelf life of cooked rice, even when stored in the refrigerator. Cooked rice is also an important breeding ground for bacteria due to its moist texture. So, while storing rice in the fridge, plenty must be kept in mind.
No need to worry, though! We will discuss all these factors in this article to ensure your cooked rice stays at its optimal stage for the longest time. You will also learn much more about rice storage, so let’s get into it!
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How Long Does Rice Last?
|Cooked Rice||3-5 Days||4-6 Months|
The time frame mentioned above is for cooked white rice. White rice tends to last longer than other counterparts, like brown rice. This is because white rice is more processed, which increases the overall shelf life.
Even white rice, though, can go bad under some conditions. When it comes to the shelf life of cooked rice, the best thing to do is to consume it right after it has been prepared. This is the best way to stay safe from food-borne illnesses.
The rice can be stored in the refrigerator if you have leftovers you plan on finishing in the following few days. But, if you want to keep your rice okay for over five days, holding it straightaway in the freezer is best. Before reheating frozen rice, make sure it is completely thawed.
How To Tell If Cooked Rice Has Gone Bad?
With uncooked rice, the chances of it don’t go well are minimal. They are most likely to happen if the terrible storage conditions lead to bug infestation, discoloration, and even moldy rice. Similarly, there are some signs to tell the same about cooked rice.
- If the rice is discolored or has signs of mold growth, it has undoubtedly gone bad.
- If the texture of the rice is slimy, then it should not be eaten.
- If the rice has an off smell or taste, you should throw it out.
What Happens If You Consume Rice That Has Gone Bad?
Rice may seem harmless, but it should be alright even if consumed after it is spoiled, right? Sadly, that is not the case. Rice, too, just like other perishable foods, can be the perfect breeding ground for food-borne illnesses.
Uncooked rice often contains bacteria called Bacillus Cereus, which can lead to food poisoning. This bacteria does not die when the rice is cooked. If the rice is not cooked or cooled correctly before storage, it is the perfect breeding ground for this bacteria because of the moist environment.
Moreover, even if cooked rice is left at room temperature for a long time, the bacteria gets ample time to multiply. Eating such rice could lead to things like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and irritation in the gut. So, if you are in doubt, throw the rice out!
Is It Okay To Eat Cold Rice?
We need to realize it to avoid eating cold food. While there are better things to do, it can be okay for some food items. However, you may have noticed that sushi always tends to have cold rice. So, is it alright to eat cold rice under all circumstances?
Sadly, no. Eating cold rice is not a good idea. Unlike rice that is not stored correctly, cold rice will not give rise to food-borne illnesses. However, the texture of cold rice could be more optimal, and it may give you a better experience.
As a safety precaution, eating rice between the temperature of 5-60 degrees Celsius is always recommended.
How To Store Cooked Rice Properly?
I can’t emphasize enough just how necessary storage is for rice. Storing rice is easy; all you have to do is keep it in an airtight container and pop it in the refrigerator or freezer until you plan on using it again.
But, many factors need to be kept in mind, even while doing so. Here are some tips that will help you ensure your rice is stored correctly.
- Always store rice in the refrigerator only after it has cooled down completely.
- Make sure the container is airtight, or use a Ziploc bag.
- Leave cooked rice on the counter for 2 hours at maximum.
- If you are storing rice in the freezer, it is best to do so in Ziploc bags.
- Before popping the bag in the freezer, get rid of as much air from the bag as possible to avoid freezer burn.
Rice, a staple in many cultures, is often a part of many people’s daily diets. However, most people cook large batches of rice that tend to go bad quickly, all because of improper storage.
If the rice has cooled down properly before being stored in an airtight container and then in the refrigerator, it should last 3-5 days. If you want the rice to stay fresh for longer, it is best to pack it in a zip-lock bag and pop it into the freezer.
This way, the rice will stay fine for 4-6 months. This is a standard for white rice and can vary slightly with other varieties. Overall, keep the signs of spoilage in mind, along with proper storage, and your rice should be good to go!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you store hot rice in the refrigerator?
There are better ideas than storing hot rice in the refrigerator, which can affect the quality. Always let the rice cool down completely before storing it in the refrigerator.
Can rice go bad?
Yes, rice needs to be appropriately stored to go well.
Does brown rice last just as long as white rice?
No, brown rice is not processed like white rice, so it does not last as long as white rice, even in the refrigerator.
Until how long is it safe to leave cooked rice on the counter?
Cooked rice should be left on the counter for at most 2 hours.