How relevant is the expiration date on uncooked Rice (different varieties)? Are there ways to store rice to prolong it life?

4 Answers 4


This website: http://www.eatbydate.com/grains/rice-shelf-life-expiration-date/ has the following table.

| Dry                    | Pantry      | Refrigerator | Freezer    |
| White Rice             | 4-5 Years   |       -      |     -      |
| Oxygen Free White Rice | 25-30 Years |       -      | 30* Years  |
| Brown Rice             | 6-8 Months  | 8-12 Months  |     -      |
| Wild Rice              | 6-8 Months  |       -      |     -      |
| Minute Rice            | 4-5 years   |       -      |     -      |
| Cooked                 | Pantry      | Refrigerator | Freezer    |
| White Rice             |     -       | 5-7 Days     | 6-8 Months |
| Brown Rice             |     -       | 4-5 Days     | 6-8 Months |
| Wild Rice              |     -       | 5-7 Days     | 6-8 Months |

From personal experience, rice that has been picked recently has a much better taste. I normally buy rice from the Asian market that has a harvested date on it. Often this date is within the last month. After about 6 months the rice tends to start losing its aromatic flavors.

Brown rice has a much shorter shelf life than white rice, and will go bad if kept in a humid or hot environment. If you aren't going to use rice within 1-2 years I would say maybe freeze it so it will keep the aromatic flavors longer.


Rice has a pretty long shelf life. Are we talking about white rice, brown rice, or what? White rice, stored in the pantry, can last a good 4-5 years.


Expiration dates are used by food distributors as an inventory control rather than a safety notification in the US.

Some packages may be marked Best by. That refers to flavor and texture not safety.

My issue with rice is the pantry moths. I buy rice in 2-5lb bags. I place the bag inside a ziplock freezer bag and put it in the freezer for at least 24 hours. I remove it to the refrigerator to defrost, and keep it sealed to avoid internal condensation. This kills off any bugs. I keep it inn the zip lock bag until I use it. I keep it in a kitchen cupboard at room temperature

This technique works for all grains and starches which could attract bugs, including wheat flour.

I have found old packets of rice in the cupboard that are perhaps 3 years old. They have cooked up well although as Meskarune noted, the flavor was a a bit stale. It was fine as a base for a sauce,etc.


Brown rice has a shorter shelf life than other rice because it includes the rice germ, which has a high oil content. What limits the shelf life is the oil going rancid, which can occur in 6 months (or less in hot weather).

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