Did you know that some dishes aren’t safe when we reheat them? See what happens to you if you do so.
I’m have always been a fan of leftovers –I come back from work, pop something in the microwave and voilà! Dinner is ready! That until I found out that certain types of dishes may cause food poisoning when heated.
It is not that reheating your favorite mashed potatoes could actually make you ill. It is leaving cooked potatoes at room temperature for too long can cause the bacteria that causes botulism to grow. Unfortunately, reheating doesn’t get the potato hot enough to kill bacteria. Thus don’t risk getting ill by eating them the next day unless you put them in your refrigerator right after you’ve served them.
Your favorite mushrooms can give you a stomachache if they are not stored the right way –i.e.: leaving them at room temperature for too long. This is because they contain proteins that may get damaged by enzymes and bacteria.
While it is possible to reheat the chicken, doing it the safe way requires a bit of skill. You’d need a thermometer and you have to know the exact temperature of your fridge. To kill the bacteria, you have to reheat the chicken at least 175°F and all parts of it must reach the same temperature. On the other hand, the storage temperature should be below 42°F and by no means should you heat chicken that’s been cooked for more than 3 days.
If you microwave your scrambled eggs, let’s say, 10 minutes after you’ve cooked them, that should be fine. But reheating eggs that that been sitting around for 2 hours can cause salmonella to multiply rapidly and lead to serious food poisoning.
Don’t ever let the rice sit around for too long at room temperature because it can grow Bacillus cereus –a type of bacterium that can make spores that are toxic and heat resistant. If you are going to reheat rice despite this warning, make sure every part of the dish is heated –microwave once, stir and reheat again.
Fresh seafood that was been caught and frozen immediately after is safe to reheat. On the other hand, if it has spent some time at room temperature it can host bacteria that cannot be killed by reheating it.
Spinach can be covered in nitrates which when heated up can turn out to be carcinogenic.
As bacteria can quickly multiply on non-refrigerated food and although professional catering companies and restaurants abide by strict rules, it is difficult to control buffets at office parties or home gatherings, and reheating may not kill all bacteria.
If you heat oil past its safe level, it can actually produce toxic fumes. Foods that have been fired should not be tossed in the microwave as it can cause the oil to smoke, instead try to do it at a low temperature.
I would recommend cooking as much food as you are going to eat, it prevents you from wasting food and it is safer. If you somehow have leftovers, pay attention to the ways it should be stored and reheated.