Why Is My Rice Pink? + Other Common FAQs

Rice comes in all shapes and sizes, from white to black and short-grain to long-grain. Additionally, rice can easily be dyed to achieve colors like pink.

However, if you didn’t dye your rice and the rice turns a dark or bright pink after cooking, you might be wondering why your rice is pink. I looked into it, and here’s what I found!

Why Is My Rice Pink?

Rice can turn pink for many reasons, but usually, the rice turns pink because the rice is contaminated with fungi that release a pink color. Other times, the rice is treated by the manufacturer so that the rice reacts to certain metals or chemicals and changes colors. Additionally, the rice can simply have naturally-occurring pink pigments, although this is not so common.

If you’re interested to learn more about the reason rice turns pink and whether there’s a way to fix pink rice, keep reading!

Why Are Some Of My Rice Grains Pink?

When you notice that a portion of your rice has turned pink, it could be that the rice is contaminated with a specific strain of bacteria or fungi.

Typically, contamination that results in a pink color happens if your leftover rice has been stored for too long, or you cooked rice that was contaminated while raw.

Additionally, the type of rice you bought may have been treated with chemicals that make the rice react with other chemicals, thus resulting in pink color.

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that none of the ingredients you mix your rice with has pink or reddish pigments because that can easily change the color of your rice.

Why Does Uncooked Rice Turn Pink?

Uncooked rice can turn pink if the grains have been exposed to pink chemicals or certain strains of bacteria and fungi.

Unless the rice is advertised as having a naturally pink tinge or color, it is reasonable to assume that uncooked rice that turns pink is contaminated.

Is Pink Rice Spoiled?

Not all pink rice is spoiled and to determine whether pink rice is spoiled, you have to consider the type of rice you cooked, how you stored the rice, and what the rice has been exposed to.

If the rice you cooked was white or brown and had turned pink after cooking or storing in the fridge, the rice may be contaminated and therefore unsafe for consumption.

However, if the rice turns pink when mixed with other types of food, it could simply be that other ingredients influenced the rice’s color.

How To Fix Pink Rice?

If the rice turns pink because the rice has been contaminated, there’s no way to fix the rice. You’ll have to throw out the rice and cook a new batch.

Preferably, the rice you’ll use is brand new and not from the same package of grains as the rice that turned pink.

Nevertheless, if the rice has simply been turned pink by the food you mixed the rice with, you can either wash the rice or separate the rice from those ingredients.

How To Prevent Rice From Turning Pink?

How To Prevent Rice From Turning Pink?

To prevent the rice from turning pink, make sure that the uncooked grains are stored in a dry place that isn’t exposed to direct heat or sunlight.

Additionally, you’ll want to use a container that can keep the grains from any moisture or bugs.

For cooked rice, make sure that you store the rice in the fridge within two hours of cooking the rice. Moreover, it is best to consume the rice in the next twenty-four hours.

In the fridge, it is ideal to store the rice using an air-tight container and away from foods that can contaminate the rice or give the rice a reddish or pinkish color.

Is Red Rice The Same As Pink Rice?

Red rice is not the same as rice variants that have naturally-occurring pink tinges or are artificially treated with pink dye.

However, red rice can grow several shades lighter during the cooking process and appear a dark shade of pink.

What Happens If I Eat Pink Rice?

Rice that turns pink due to contamination can pose health hazards when eaten. While small amounts of contaminated rice may not have serious consequences, large amounts would.

Additionally, the risks of eating pink rice depend on the type of bacteria that caused the rice to turn pink in the first place.

What Is The Pink Mold On Rice?

Pink mold on rice is technically not a mold, but a bacteria. Generally, four types of bacteria can cause the rice to turn pink, namely, Aureobasidium, Fusarium, Micrococcus roseus, and Serratia marcescens.

Determining which type of bacteria caused your rice to turn pink requires laboratory testing because these four types of bacteria look the same to the untrained eye.

Is Pink Rice A Thing?

There’s such a thing as Madagascar pink rice, which naturally has pink grains. However, to some people, the grains may simply look like a lighter shade of red.

Why Is My Sushi Rice Pink?

Sushi rice can turn pink either due to contamination, or you had mixed the sushi rice with ingredients that have red, purple, or pink pigments.

Often, when you use beet juice to make sushi, your sushi rice will inevitably turn a light shade of pink.

Is Parboiled Rice Pink?

Parboiled rice can have a predominantly yellow flavor with hints of pink. Depending on the brand you’re buying, the parboiled rice may have a stronger shade of pink than usual.

However, parboiled rice normally isn’t entirely pink or red unless the manufacturer intends the parboiled rice to have those colors.

If you want to learn why your rice is blue, why your rice is standing up, and where rice grows, read our other articles.


Rice turns pink for a variety of reasons. If you’re cooking brown or white rice that turns pink overnight or right after you cook the rice, there’s a huge chance that the rice is contaminated.

Additionally, the rice may be treated with chemicals that are making the chemicals react with the tools or ingredients you’re using so it is best to contact the manufacturer to confirm this.

Moreover, your rice can turn pink because you mixed the rice with ingredients like beet juice or fruits and vegetables that naturally have pink pigments.

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