How Long Can Brown Rice Sit Out?

Brown rice is a healthy whole grain that may be used in a variety of dishes. However, it’s important to handle and store brown rice properly to prevent foodborne illness. One common question that arises when it comes to brown rice is how long it can sit out safely.

How Long Can Brown Rice Sit Out?

It will depend on whether the brown rice is cooked or uncooked. For cooked brown rice, it can sit out for about 2 hours. After that time, the rice will likely be contaminated with bacteria, which could make you sick.

However, brown rice that has not been cooked can be kept at room temperature for roughly two years. Just make sure to keep them away from heat and sunshine.

Why Does Cooked Brown Rice Go Bad So Quickly?

The reason for the rapid spoilage of cooked brown rice is that it is a starch and starches are readily digested by microorganisms in the environment.

Since it is already cooked, it has lost its protective outer layer of bran and germ.

How Can You Tell If Brown Rice Is Spoiled?

Brown rice does not last as long as white rice. Brown rice might spoil if you buy it in bulk or keep it in storage for too long. The color and smell of brown rice might indicate if it has gone rotten.

Brown Rice Appearance

When brown rice is fresh, it will be dry and firm. Once the rice is cooked, it becomes softer and fluffier. If your brown rice has become soft or mushy, throw it out because this means that it has spoiled. If you touch the outside of the bag of brown rice and find it damp, this also indicates that there may be mold inside the bag of brown Rice.

Brown Rice Smell

When brown rice goes bad, it will begin to smell sour or rancid instead of nutty and sweet like when it was fresh. This odor will get stronger when you open up the lid on the container holding your old bag of brown rice, so try not to breathe too deeply while checking for spoilage signs.

Storing Brown Rice At Room Temperature

Storing brown rice at room temperature can be safe if it’s done properly. Store the rice in an airtight container to keep air and moisture from entering. If any of these elements do get into the container, the rice will go bad.

In addition, store the brown rice in a cool, dry area away from heat sources and direct sunlight.

Overall, whether brown rice is kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator, correct storage is essential to preserving its quality and safety.

Is It Safe To Eat Brown Rice That Was Left Out Overnight?

Brown rice that has been left out all night should not be consumed. The grain is a high risk of bacterial growth, particularly Bacillus cereus, which can cause food poisoning.

Bacillus cereus spores may thrive and multiply when rice is cooked, releasing toxins that can result in nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Too much time spent storing cooked rice at room temperature enables the bacteria to grow, raising the possibility of contracting a foodborne disease.

How Long Does Brown Rice Last In The Fridge?

Brown rice that has been cooked and stored in an airtight container will stay fresh for 4-6 days in the refrigerator. It’s important to cool the rice quickly after cooking, ideally within 2 hours, to prevent bacterial growth.

Divide the rice into shallow, airtight containers or freezer bags to help it cool faster and to make it easier to store.

To eradicate any germs that may have developed during storage, reheat leftover brown rice to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

It’s ideal to eat the rice as soon as you can because the quality may degrade after a few days in the refrigerator.


As you can see, you may leave cooked brown rice out of the refrigerator for up to two hours. After that time, you should just discard the entire content to avoid food poisoning.