Rice. A staple item that is found in every college student's kitchen. We can't live without it (or maybe, we don't want to live without it), but how long can it sit in your kitchen before going bad? Does uncooked rice go bad?

An indefinite shelf-life

rice, vegetable, pepper, risotto
Maddie Cole

You're in luck! Whether kept in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer, there's plenty of rices that have an indefinite shelf life. White, wild, jasmine, and basmati rices are among the many that can last forever. When kept free from contaminants, these rices can stay fresh for as long as you'd like.

To keep these rices fresh and ready, make sure to store them in a cool, dry area. Perhaps the rice is already opened? Place the uncooked rice in an airtight, sealed container or the original packaging, then proceed to put in a cool, dry area.

However, if you're looking to decrease contamination, uncooked rice can also be placed in the fridge or freezer for an extended shelf-life.

What about brown rice?

Over the Rainbow Brown Rice

mealmakeovermoms on Flickr

Unfortunately, brown rice is a favorite that doesn't last too long. At best, brown rice can last just over a year, or 12-18 months to be exact. But, just like any other rice, there are tips and tricks to extend the shelf-life for this healthy alternative. 

Placed in the pantry, in a airtight, sealed container, brown rice can last up to 6 months. But, by placing the container of rice into the refrigerator, the rice has double the shelf-life than when kept out, meaning it lasts up to 12 months. To keep brown rice the longest, placing it in the freezer will extend the life up to 18 months.

So, why does brown rice have such a short life? Due to the higher oil content of brown rice, it has a much shorter lifespan than any other rice. 

How Can You Tell If a Rice Is Unsafe to Eat?

rice, vegetable, meat, fried rice, pepper, pork, chicken, risotto, onion
Yi Xie

Though most rices have an indefinite life, they can spoil on occasion. White, wild, jasmine, and basmati rices, though fairly difficult to tell if spoiled, can develop rice weevils, small reddish-colored bugs that live within the rice. However, these little bugs aren't too common, and can be spotted very easily. 

Spoiled brown rice is much easier to spot than any other rice. The rice spoils when 2 things occur: 1. The rice becomes oily to the touch, due to the higher oil content. 2. The rice releases an incredibly horrible odor, due to the increased amount of fatty acids. 

seafood, rice, vegetable, fish
Spoon University

So, with all things considered, I'd say it's fairly safe to go cook that rice sitting on your shelf right now. In the end, does uncooked rice go bad? There's no need to worry that it's spoiled, because there's probably a high chance that it's just as delicious as the last time it was cooked.