Reheating Rice Can Give You Food Poisoning (Here’s Why)

Although reheating takeout when you’re too busy to cook is one of life’s great pleasures, leftover rice can actually be really bad for you, the National Health Society says.

Because if you didn’t already know, you can get a pretty grim case of food poisoning from eating reheated rice; it’s not the reheating that causes the problem, but instead the way the rice has been stored after being cooked the first time.

Uncooked rice often contains spores (cells capable of reproducing quickly) of Bacillus cereus — a bacteria strand that can cause food poisoning — that can survive when rice is cooked.

Bacillus cereus, Bacillus cereus or B. cereus is a type of bacteria that produces toxins. These toxins can cause two types of illness: one type characterized by diarrhea and the other, called emetic toxin, by nausea and vomiting. These bacteria are present in foods and can multiply quickly at room temperature.

And if the rice is left standing at room temperature after it’s been boiled, the spores can grow into bacteria, which will ultimately multiply and may produce toxins that cause vomiting or diarrhea.

The longer cooked rice is left at room temperature, the more likely it is that the bacteria will make the rice unsafe to eat — meaning it’s vital that you store your rice at the right way quickly if you’re hoping to reheat it later.
Symptoms of food poisoning

If you eat rice that contains Bacillus cereus bacteria, you may be sick and experience vomiting or diarrhea about one to five hours afterwards. Symptoms are relatively mild and usually last about 24 hours.

Here are some quick tips on serving rice safely:

– ideally, serve rice as soon as it has been cooked
– if that isn’t possible, cool the rice as quickly as possible (ideally within one hour)…