Can I eat this shelf-stable rice, 4 months past the best by?
December 14, 2019 1:01 PM   Subscribe

I have 3 packs of Annie Chun's Restaurant-Style White Rice (Sticky). I love them. But they have a "Best Before" date of August 31, 2019. I know "Best Before" and "Best By" dates aren't the same as expiration dates. Does anyone know about the stability of this product or type of product? They have no preservatives besides gluconic acid as an acidity regulator. See more info on how this type of rice packaging works. Any thoughts from someone who knows about these or has eaten one of these past its best-before date and survived?
posted by limeonaire to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
All the time.

Rice has a long shelf life. Ignore this Best By crap, it's just a mechanism to get ignorant consumers to throw out good food (and you do realize that Americans throw out 50% of the food they buy?)
posted by Rash at 1:06 PM on December 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

[Quick note: OP's asking about for knowledge about this specific product; please skip answers that are just general "Best By dates aren't meaningful" stuff.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:41 PM on December 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

They're sterile packages, and IIRC shelf life is well over a year, so I would say that a) it's definitely not going to be dangerous and b) it's unlikely the starches would change that much once they're out of date, so they're probably still tasty.
posted by ambrosen at 1:43 PM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

The worst I've ever had happen with old rice is that is some of it doesn't soften fully when cooked. It was significantly older than yours and not sealed. Yours should be just fine.
posted by Gneisskate at 7:00 PM on December 14, 2019

OP is asking about pre-cooked rice in a sealed shelf-stable packaging that you reheat in the microwave, not dry grain rice that requires boiling.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:28 PM on December 14, 2019 [7 favorites]

I ate this exact product with an expiration date worse than yours. Looked fine, smelled fine, tasted fine, no adverse events.
posted by skyl1n3 at 12:45 AM on December 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

With this sort of sterile shelf-stable packaging, you’ll notice a drop in the organoleptic (i.e. sensory) quality long before you’ll see any significant drop in microbial quality. In other words, if it’s tasty enough to eat, it’s safe enough to eat.

(I used to work in the R&D kitchen of a major food manufacturer, and there wasn’t a single person in the dept that would have thought you were putting yourself in any danger by eating your rice)
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 2:36 PM on December 15, 2019 [5 favorites]

I have had some of those packets go bad and it was immediately obvious -- there was visible mold growth on the product.
posted by fiercecupcake at 6:55 AM on December 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I ate one last night while drunk and totally survived!
posted by limeonaire at 7:36 PM on December 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

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