Beware Of Food Poisoning From Reheating Leftover Rice

HealthEnlight Your Daily Health GuideWe all drool over the yummy fried rice. Most of us are also familiar with the secret recipe that makes it so mouth watering. The fried rice tastes best, when made with leftover rice. Leftover rice also makes many delicious casserole recipes. But do you know that reheating rice can cause food poisoning?

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How Does Reheating Leftover Rice Cause Food Poisoning?

The uncooked rice contains traces of Bacillus cereus, a bacterium that causes food poisoning. This bacterium is capable of surviving cooking, especially if cooked at low heat or below 212°F (100°C). If the cooked rice is stored at room temperature for a longer period of time, this bacterium germinates and may produce toxins that cause vomiting or diarrhoea which are the symptoms of food poisoning. It remains present in the rice, even after it is reheated.

So the longer cooked rice is stored at room temperature, the more it become easier for the bacteria to make it harmful. For this reason, it’s best to eat rice right away, after it has been cooked. While it is true that reheating leftover rice can cause food poisoning, the problem lies more in how the rice is cooled and stored rather than reheating.

Tips of Serving And Storing Rice Safely:

  1. Serve and eat as soon as the rice has been cooked.
  2. Do not leave cooked rice aside to let it cool at room temperature for too long.  If possible, cook rice just before you are ready to eat.
  3. If it is not possible to eat as soon as it’s been cooked, refrigerate it as soon as possible.
  4. Do not refrigerate cooked rice for more than one day.
  5. Do not reheat more than once.

Read: 5 healthy leftover rice recipes

Ways of Reheating:

Whichever method you prefer, make sure you reheat only if rice has been properly cooked, stored and refrigerated. Always heat at temperature of at least 165°F (74°C).

In the Oven

Place the rice into an oven-safe bowl and sprinkle a little bit of water. Cover it with tight-fitting lid or foil and bake for at least 15 minutes at 150º C.

On the Stove Top

Place the rice in a pot on the stove and add little amount of water. Stir it occasionally over medium heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest and wait until the rice is heated thoroughly.

In the Microwave

Place the rice into a microwave-safe dish. Add some water. Cover and microwave for at least 2 minutes until the rice is heated thoroughly.

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