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How To Tell If Rice Pudding Is Bad

How To Tell If Rice Pudding Is Bad

Want to know how to tell if rice pudding is bad? Find out how to spot bad rice pudding, how long it stays fresh, and tips for properly storing it here!

Common signs of rice pudding going bad include unusual colors, odd lumps, unpleasant smells, a sour taste, and noticeable mold.

Rice pudding is a tasty and comforting dessert made with rice, milk, sugar, spices, and sometimes nuts and raisins. 

I usually flavor it with vanilla, cinnamon, or nutmeg, then mix it until it is creamy and ready. Whether warm or cold, rice pudding is one of my favorite comfort food choices (and our instant pot version is so yummy!).

In this article, I will discuss the indicators that your rice pudding has gone bad, along with some tips on how to keep it tasty for longer.

For more in-depth information about these signs and the best storage method, see the details below.

What Happens If You Eat Spoiled Rice Pudding?

Let’s talk about the risks of chowing down on spoiled rice pudding. Spoiled food can become a problem when it goes bad, no matter how delicious it once was.

Eating spoiled rice pudding can give you a stomachache or even can cause food poisoning. The symptoms of food poisoning typically start within 6 to 12 hours after eating contaminated food and last up to 24 hours. To add to your knowledge, here are the symptoms to watch out for:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

See a doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed, especially if you think you have eaten spoiled rice pudding.

Signs of Spoiled Rice Pudding

Now that you know the risks, let us discuss the common signs that show if the rice pudding is spoiled and may no longer be safe for consumption.

Physical Changes

Changes in your rice pudding’s color, texture, smell, or appearance  are the fastest and easiest way to check if it has already gone bad. Be cautious when you see that its usual lovely, creamy white color or fresh smell changes, discard it without eating or serving it.


Something’s not right if your rice pudding’s texture has gone too thick, too thin, or has these weird lumps that were not there before. There might be a slimy or sticky layer on top. If this is the case, discard it.

Moldy Growth

Mold on rice pudding is a definite sign that it has spoiled and should not be consumed. They come in colors like white, green, blue, or black. Visible mold is a definite no-go. It’s not cheese, after all!


If it has unusual or foul odors, it most likely has gone spoiled and should not be consumed. It’s better to step away if your rice pudding gives off a funky aroma that usually smells sour or rancid.


Any changes in its taste can indicate spoilage. The taste of your rice pudding should be sweet and delightful, not sour or bitter. 

I SUGGEST you only try to check it using this method if it has passed the initial checklist and you’re still unsure.

How Long Does Rice Pudding Last?

Now that we know how to spot a spoiled rice pudding, let’s talk about how long you can expect your pudding to last under different conditions.

Shelf life of rice pudding at room temperature

Rice pudding left out at room temperature should be consumed within four hours. 

But keep in mind that the general guideline for perishable foods, including rice pudding, is that they should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Shelf life of rice pudding in the refrigerator

Your rice pudding should stay good for 3 to 5 days if stored in the refrigerator. Remember, keep it in an airtight container before keeping it in the fridge to retain its quality. Use clean utensils for each serving, and don’t let it sit out on the counter for more than a minute or two while you serve it.

Shelf life of rice pudding in the freezer

If you want to extend the life of your rice pudding, freezing is an option you should strongly consider. It can stay tasty for up to 2 months in the freezer. Just make sure to cover it tightly.

How to Store Rice Pudding Properly

Storing rice pudding properly is essential to maintain its quality and avoid spoilage. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to store rice pudding correctly:

  • Cool the rice pudding completely. Cooling the rice pudding is a great idea to prevent condensation from forming on the surface of the pudding, which can hasten the growth of bacteria.
  • Transfer the rice pudding to an airtight container. Keeping the air out will also prevent spoilage from possible bacteria accumulation and growth.
  • Label and date. Always label your containers with the storage date to know when to say goodbye.

Can I Leave Rice Pudding Out Overnight?

Let’s clear this one up quickly: No. Leaving your rice pudding out overnight is something you should not do. Eggs, rice, and dairy are particularly fragile to temperature changes and bacterial growth. 

Remember the four-hour and two-hour rule? The rice pudding will definitely get spoiled in the morning. So, if you have leftovers after dinner, I suggest you pop them in the fridge sooner rather than later.

The bottom line

One should know when rice pudding has spoiled to avoid those health-related troubles and enjoy this delightful dessert safely. Check for any physical changes, unusual smells, and off-putting tastes. And remember the golden rule: when in doubt, toss it out!

So there you have it! Stay safe, enjoy your treats, and may your rice pudding always be as delicious as the first bite!

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