Food Safety Issues/Refrigerated Food Duration


Hi Carol,

1. I put some brown rice (still in original bag- uncooked) in my refrigerator about three (3) years ago; is the brown rice safe to eat?

2. I put some frozen orange juice concentrate in my freezer about three (3) years ago; is the frozen orange juice concentrate safe to drink?


Hi Angel,

For maximum quality, it is recommended to use brown rice that has been stored in the refrigerator within 1 year.  With brown rice having a higher fat content, the rice can take on off-flavor when stored longer than 1 year.  This is not unsafe to consume, just not very tasty.  I would prepare a small amount of the rice and judge for yourself if the quality and flavor are acceptable.

The orange juice concentrate is also safe if kept constantly frozen, though the quality has probably declined, producing an old, off flavor.  Again -- it is safe to consume but just not as high of quality as a younger frozen product.  The guideline for maximum quality of frozen orange juice concentrate is 1 year.  

Freezer food storage guidelines are based on the best quality of the product and does not mean that a food held longer than the recommendation is unsafe to consume.  Foods held consistently frozen are good indefinitely.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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