How To Tell Cooked Rice Has Gone Off

How To Tell Cooked Rice Has Spoilt

However, there are a few things you can do to make sure that it doesn’t go off.

Cooking rice is one of the easiest ways to feed your family and friends and is a long-lasting pantry staple.

It’s also one of the most common mistakes people make when cooking rice. If you don’t cook it long enough or cook it in too much water, then you risk having some very unhappy guests with crunchy undercooked rice you may want to fix.

Does Cooked Rice Go Bad? Here’s how To Tell

Rice is one of the most versatile foods you can buy. You can eat it plain, use it to make sushi rolls, or even cook it into a savory side dish, but if you have leftovers you need know if it has gone off.

Can you leave cooked rice out overnight

But what happens to the rice if it goes bad, and more importantly, how do you tell if it has gone off?

When rice spoils, there is no distinction to make between white rice, brown rice, wild rice, paella rice, or even uncle ben’s rice; they do not have an indefinite shelf life plus, check the best by date to make sure that it is not expired.

It is also worth noting that uncooked rice can also show signs of spoilage, so care needs to be taken so that you do not get food poisoning.  Storing it as dry rice in an airtight container is the best way to stop uncooked rice from going off. It also goes to say keep it in a cool part of the pantry and out of the sunlight.

Signs Of Black Mold On Rice
Signs Of Black Mold On Rice

Other relevant questions are

  • Is it safe to store leftover rice?
  • How long does it keep?
  • And what exactly do we mean by “undercooked rice”?

Here Are the 5 Steps You Can Use to Check if Your Cooked Rice Has Gone Bad

Here are some tips to help you determine whether your rice is still safe to eat.

Check The Texture of the Rice

Slimy texture

In fact, the study showed that even rice that smells fine can contain dangerous bacteria.

The simple test for slimy rice that if bad is to take a little bit of rice between your fingers and test it for sliminess. Do not forget to wash your hands afterward to get rid of harmful bacteria.

In addition, the researchers found that rice that was stored in plastic bags tended to lose moisture faster than those stored in airtight containers.

Consequently, rice that was stored in a closed container lost less water over the course of seven days compared to rice that was exposed to air. As a result, rice that was stored longer tends to turn into slimy or mushier rice and definitely should be thrown out.

You may also note that the rice has expanded slightly in size.

Presence of Greenish-Blue or Black Mold

Moldy rice (including black spots) should be thrown out immediately. If you are unsure whether it is safe to eat, throw it out.

Moldy rice will usually look wet or slimy and have a musty odor. You might think that it is just dirty, but it could actually be dangerous.

Greenish-blue or black molds are very toxic. 

Check The Smell of Rice to See If It Has Become Inedible.

One of the best indicators of whether rice is safe to consume is its smell. If there is a strange smell that is a sign all types of rice is going bad

Rice that has a funny smell like fish indicates that it’s already gone off, while rice that smells like moldy bread could indicate the same. In addition, rice that has a sour smell like rotten eggs is also unsafe.

Simply stated any off-putting smell is a sing of spoiled rice.

If you want to know if your rice is safe to eat, you need to smell it.

Check the Color of The Rice to See if It Is Bad

You can tell whether the rice is still edible by looking at the color, and remember there is a difference between stale rice and signs of deterioration.

White rice should look white. Brown rice should be light brown.

But what happens when the rice turns a brownish color? Is it still edible? 

Yellow rice is usually a sign that it has started to go off and should not be eaten, remember if in doubt, do not eat it. While yellow may indicate staleness, I would not eat it,

Darker yellow and brown means the rice has gone bad.

If the rice turns darker, it’s probably been sitting around for a while. Throw it away.

Rancid Brown Rice

Brown rice goes rancid over time. A lot of people don’t know this because it happens slowly and doesn’t happen overnight. It starts out smelling normal, but eventually, the odor becomes noticeable. You might even start picking up on some strange odors and when you do, put it in the trash.  

Other Checks To Perform To Check Cooked Rice Is Safe To Eat

1. Check the Packaging

The best way to know if your instant rice is still edible is to check the expiration date printed on the packaging. The estimated shelf life is there for a reason.

Store it in a cool, dry place away from light to keep it cookable rice.

2. Frozen Rice

Check that there is not an excess of ice crystals that have built up, commonly known as freezer burn.

FAQ When Does Cooked Rice Go Bad After Cooked

Cooked Rice will go bad in

  • 2 hours if left at ambient temperature
  • 3-5 days in the refrigerator
  • 4-6 months in the freezer

Rice goes bad quickly once it begins to ferment. Once the fermentation process starts, the rice becomes toxic and dangerous to eat. To prevent this from happening, store cooked rice in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Do not let it sit out at room temperature for too long, though, or it may go bad. The best way to tell if rice is still safe to eat is to smell it. Even if it smells just a little or like rotten eggs, throw it away immediately.


There are many varieties, including white, red, black, purple, and even golden. However, there is one type that is considered the best – koshihikari. This variety is known for its beautiful color, and it is often used in sushi.  

But any can have contaminants in Rice (bacillus cereus – unpleasant smell), especially any 5-day-old-rice or longer – Just put it in the trash.