Is it dangerous to reheat rice?

Is it dangerous to reheat rice?

Posted on Nov 19, 2016

Is it dangerous to reheat rice?



Not-so-nice rice

In a previous blog, we highlighted the following myth:

“Cooked rice can be kept for as long as other leftovers.”

We explained that leftover cooked rice is fine to eat as long as it gets cooled and refrigerated quickly after cooking (or delivery), and is then eaten within 24 hours.

This is because rice can contain a particularly tough type of bacteria, commonly known as Bacillus Cereus, or B. Cereus, for short.


Let's B-Cereus, it can’t be that dangerous?

There are several strains of the Bacillus Cereus bacteria, some of which are beneficial to animals, but harmful to humans.

Commonly found in soil and food, Bacillus Cereus produces toxins. These toxins can cause two types of illness: one type characterised by diarrhoea, and the other by nausea and vomiting. If you eat rice that contains Bacillus Cereus bacteria you may start showing these symptoms about 1-5 hours after ingestion. Symptoms are relatively mild and usually last about 24 hours.


Food poisoning flicktip


But, what makes this bacteria particularly dangerous is that it can withstand heating and cooking. It does this by developing spores (tough little protective shells) that make them resistant to heat. Even cooking temperatures of up to 100 °C allow some B. Cereus spores to survive.



So how quickly does this bacteria reproduce in your egg fried rice? Alarmingly, at 30 °C, a population of B. Cereus can double in as little as 20 minutes, and can multiply to a million in just under 9 hours! That’s scary!


How quickly does Bacillus Cereus bacteria reproduce


Serving rice safely

Below are a few tips on safety when it comes to cooking, serving, and storing rice:

  • 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)
  • Keep rice in the fridge for no more than one day before reheating
  • When you reheat any rice, always check that the dish is piping hot all the way through
  • Do not reheat rice more than once

Always bear in mind that it's not the reheating of your rice that causes the problem but the way the rice has been stored before it was reheated.


Prevention is better than cure!

It can be hard to change habits, but it’s important to stay safe, so ‘scrub up’ on your knowledge and ensure you and your staff are correctly trained. Subscribe with flick today and access over 35 accredited and certificated online training courses.

Our food hygiene course will provide your staff with simple understanding of all the mandatory areas of food hygiene and staying safe when it comes to serving and handling food.

Plus, when you buy an annual subscription you can save up to 50%!



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