Monday, October 27, 2008

Storing Rice - Cooked and Uncooked

Storing Uncooked Rice

Uncooked rice should be stored in a cool environment that is moisture free. Rice absorbs strong aromas from foods such as onions or garlic. It is therefore important to store your rice in areas separate from those food items with strong odors. Store your rice in securely sealed containers that will keep out excess moisture and that will eliminate the risk of infestation by insects or damage by other pests (rodents). Avoid temperature extremes.

Brown rice has a high oil content in the attached bran which is extremely susceptible to oxidation. Brown rice has a shelf life of only six months due to this oxidation process. Storing brown rice in a refrigerator will extend the shelf life. White rice, if stored properly, has an almost indefinite shelf life. Milled rice, which includes white, parboiled or pre-cooked rice will keep almost indefinitely when stored in your pantry. Once opened, rice should be stored in a tightly-closed container that keeps out dust, moisture and other contaminants and in an area where insects or other pests will not be a problem.

Storing Cooked Rice

Cooked rice must be handled properly to avoid spoilage by food borne bacteria. Hot cooked rice should be cooled as quickly as possible. This can be done by transferring it to a shallow pan of water or by placing the pot of cooked rice in a sink with a shallow amount of cold water. Cooked rice should be cooled to room temperature (about 70°F to 72°F) in two hours or less to avoid bacterial contamination.

Cooked rice, after it has been properly cooled, should then be placed in a sealed container, properly dated and then refrigerated as soon as possible. Cooked rice may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days for use at a later date. The cooked rice may be reheated later on top of a 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, as this will insure that any harmful bacteria will be destroyed.

Staying above the water line!


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