When buying whole grains and flour, the general rule of thumb is this: Choose inventory that has a good "sell by" date and has no smell or odor whatsoever. If it smells musty or oily, it's likely rancid and should not be purchased or used. When storing, keep it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Or, if you want to store it for long-term use, place it in the freezer. A freezer will double the shelf life of the grain or flour (oats, for example, last four months in a pantry and eight months in a freezer) and also keep it away from small insects.
ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION