The fact that rice is a cereal product means that it must be handled properly to avoid spoilage by food borne bacteria. Rice should be held for service in a steam table or warmer above 140°F (60°C). Hot rice should be cooled as quickly as possible by transferring it to a shallow pan. Cool the rice to 70°F (21°C) within two hours. Rice should then be wrapped, dated and refrigerated. Cooked rice may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Rice may be reheated on top of the stove, in a steamer or in the oven. When rice is reheated, be sure that it reaches a core temperature of at least 165°F (74°C).
As with many dry goods, uncooked rice should be stored in a dry and cool environment. Rice will absorb strong aromas, so it is very important to store rice far away from foods such as onions or garlic. Keeping rice in securely sealed containers keeps out unwanted moisture and eliminates the risk of infestation.
Brown rice, because of the oil content in the attached bran, aleurone and germ, is susceptible to oxidation. As a result, brown rice has a shelf life of only six months. Keeping brown rice in a refrigerator or cooler will extend the shelf life. White rice, if stored properly, has an almost indefinite shelf life.
Milled rice (white, parboiled or pre-cooked) will keep almost indefinitely on the pantry shelf. Once opened, rice should be stored in a tightly-closed container that keeps out dust, moisture and other contaminants.