Friday, June 9, 2023

If you reheat your food, you need to listen to this dietitian

A representational image of fried rice with a boiled egg. — Pixabay/File

Food always tastes best when it is hot. When food gets cold it does not offer the taste that it should. So, people reheat food to get the original taste.

But what if we tell you that reheating food may be injurious to your health? Yes, it is.

Kim Lindsay, an accredited practising dietitian in Australia, said in order to avoid sickness, you need to avoid reheating these four food items.

The items which she mentioned may shock you.


While speaking with Dailymail, Lindsay noted: “Rice is a big risk. Those spores are heat resistant, so even when you heat them up, they can still be causing harmful pathogens.”

Some bacteria named Bacillus cereus are not killed when rice is cooked and may cause food poisoning.

According to the National Health Service (NHS), Bacillus cereus spores can grow in rice that is left standing at room temperature. These will multiply and may produce toxins that cause vomiting or diarrhoea.

NHS also stated: “The longer you leave rice at room temperature, the more likely it is poisonous substances will develop.”

If you want to avoid falling ill, you must cool your rice as soon as possible. It is also advised not to keep rice longer than a day before eating.

In order to reheat, it must be all the way through and properly steam heated.


Kim said you could also fall ill by reheating potatoes. Akin to rice, it also becomes hazardous while at room temperature. If more than two hours, it could lead to the growth of Clostridium botulinum.

These bacteria could cause botulism, in which brain nerves and the spinal cord are attacked leaving a person in paralysis.

According to NHS, “the bacteria produces botulism-causing toxins when deprived of oxygen, so food-bourne botulism tends to be caused by items in closed cans or bottles.”

She also added: “Cooking the spuds in foil could increase the risk of botulism as the material cuts out the oxygen and could promote the growth of bacteria in the potato.”

Kim said: “Mashing potatoes with perishable ingredients like milk, butter and cream could also add to your risk of getting sick if you reheat them.”

It should also be properly steam heated, she advised.


Improper heating of this green vegetable could cause listeriosis. It is a serious infection that results in fever, flu-like symptoms, confusion, seizures and much more.

It is due to the bacteria listeria that can be hosted by the vegetables.

Kim noted: “Premade salads and store-bought greens tend to carry listeria.”

Dairy products made from unpasteurised milk, cheeses like camembert and brie, as well as sliced meets, could put you at risk of listeriosis, said NHS.


In the list of never-reheat food list, Eggs were the fourth.

Eggs can be a source of the bacteria salmonella, causing diarrhoea, tummy pain, fever and vomiting.

Kim said that eggs stored at temperatures between 40 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit (4C to 74C) are the ‘danger zone.’

She said: “Pathogens can grow at a faster rate when they’re at that temperature.”

“If there are more pathogens and more harmful bacteria in a food, then there’s an increased risk of food poisoning when we eat it,” she said.

Food is only advised to reheat one time lest repeated reheating could cause food poising noted NHS.

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