Have you ever reheated food? Of course you have, we all have those days when we end up with leftovers. However, there is an ever-present danger of getting food poisoning if you fail to heat the food properly. If you have experienced food poisoning before, you will know how unpleasent it can be. The stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhoea is a gruesome experience.
Food poisoning is a foodborne disease caused by bacteria contaminating your food. Campylobacter bacteria can spread easily because it can survive a couple of hours on kitchen surfaces.
Let’s check out the ways to store and reheat food safely.
How to store leftover food
You must allow the food to cool down prior to putting it in the fridge. If you keep hot food in the fridge, it raises the inside temperature of the fridge. This is the perfect incubator for bacteria. You should let the food cool down and cover the food before putting it the fridge.
How to reheat the food
The Food Standards Agency advises reheating the food only once. They list the following foods as the most dangerous to health when reheated incorrectly:
- Sauces that include of milk or cream.
- Cooked rice or pasta.
- Cooked meat and any food that includes meat such as lasagna.
- Foods that contain eggs, nuts.
- Foods containing seafood or fish stock.
The correct method to reheat the food safely is as follows:
- The key to reheating is to do it thoroughly. Most people use the microwave to do this. The problem is that the microwave heats the food unequally, leaving some portion of the food not hot enough to kill bacteria. So you must get the food very hot, it is important the food reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit
- Reheat sauces or soups by bringing them to boiling point and then cool before eating
- It is best to cover the food when reheating. This helps in retaining the moisture and makes sure food is heated well.
Rice as a cause of food poisoning
Most of the people are not aware that rice can cause food poisoning. Uncooked rice comprises spores of Bacillus cereus. It is a bacterium that causes food poisoning. It can survive even after cooking the rice. After cooking, if rice is left at room temperature, the moist environment within the grains is perfect conditions for the bacteria to grow. The longer the rice is left at room temperature, the more the bacteria will multiple.
How to serve rice
Here are some tips to serve rice safely:
- You must serve rice as soon as you cook it
- In case you can’t serve right away, then cover and cool down the rice quickly, within one hour
- Once cool, refrigerate immediately. It can be kept in a fridge for no more than 5 days
- When reheating rice it must be piping hot all the way through. To ensure this, it's important to stir half way through cooking
- Rice can be reheated only once.
Hope this article is helpful for you. If you have any other tips you want to share, please comment below.