How Long Does Cooked Rice Last? (Need Answer Fast)

I have a container of brown rice I cooked last Tuesday - yes, six days ago - that has been in the refrigerator since. Is it still good? The only thing it was cooked in was plain water, no additives, so it’s really just rice.

I hate to throw out a cup and a half of rice, but on the other hand, I don’t want to be sitting on the toilet with a bucket on my knees all night, either.

Without the benefit of medical or culinary training I can only suggest chucking it. It’s a week old. Plus it’s summer. Even in a fridge that makes a difference once it’s taken out.
Donate it to our feathered friends.

Maybe it’s just me but I wouldn’t hesitate to eat it as long as it’s not visibly ooky.

I don’t dump a lot of stuff in my fridge, but week-old rice? Yeah, that’s going.

It’s only rice. But does it look wrong? Does it smell wrong? Does it taste wrong? If it’s still holding its color and moisture content, I’d eat it.

If it’s been in there the whole time and you haven’t had any power outages, it’s probably OK. I’ve probably eaten older cooked rice than that, but remember that saying “When in doubt, throw it out.”

I would actually be less worried if it didn’t hold its moisture content. I would think–and I’m only speculating here so please chime in if you know more–that moist rice would be more vulnerable to spoilage than drier rice.

I’d figure if it looks and smells OK, it is. I’ve never had food poisoning, FWIW.

I eat week old white rice all the time, and I’m still alive.

Left alone, cooked rice just reverts back to “minute” rice. It is the stuff in the container that is not rice that would cause you worry.

I eat rice that doesn’t smell bad, or have visible friends growing on it. Done it all my life without a problem. I am a bit more wary about animal products.

I cook large pots of rice to use all week. I would not hesitate to eat it as long as it is just rice. As rice cools, the starch granules crystallize making the rice into hard little grains, but once heated they go right back to being yummy soft rice.

It would depend more on whether I had more to make fresher rice, or not, than any doubt of whether it was still edible.

It’s just rice, which I buy in large quantities and a week old, I’d probably toss it, just in case.

(But leftover rice would never last a week in my house, I’m pretty sure it’d be consumed before a week could pass. It microwaves a charm too!)

If it was refrigerated within two hours of cooking it should be fine. If not, you could be setting up for bacillis cereus poisoning. Look up “Fried Rice Syndrome”. It shouldn’t kill a healthy person.

Bacterial activity is heavily dependent on temperature, pH, food source and water activity.

Refrigeration slows most bacterial growth to a crawl, and the starch molecules in rice “lock up” free water, so I’d have no qualms eating rice that’s a week old.

On the other hand, if you go away for the week, and leave the rice in the cooker on warm, well let’s just say it’s not a question you have to ask.

Bacterial growth is just one factor, mold is far more likely and has no problem in a refrigerator.

Keep in mind that cooked food is supposed to be reheated to 165F, at which point nearly everything is long since dead. Only concern at that point would be toxins like botulism, but that is more a concern if you were storing the rice in vacuum sealed packs (anaerobic).

Also keep in mind that after being reheated, the clock resets and the rice can be cooled then stored for another 7 days. So if you’re on day 4 and about to leave for the weekend, you could reheat the rice, cool it, then have it on Monday.

Rice also freezes reasonably well, especially if frozen on a sheet pan, then broken up and placed into individual bags.

I did mention water activity associated with cooked rice is on the lower side of the scale…

If a product is kept below a certain water activity, then mold growth is inhibited. This results in a longer shelf-life.

Of course, since the original posting was in March, I’d definitely take a pass on the rice now.

No, actually the OP was July 15… but in case anyone was wondering, the compost heap got the old rice.

Ack … Mistook your join date at a glance for the posting date. The year being 2001 never registered .