Food

6 Common Foods You Should Avoid Reheating

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We don't always have the time or energy to cook daily therefore using the microwave to warm up extra food from the fridge has become a way of life for many Americans

Unfortunately, as convenient as it may be, research has shown that not all foods should be reheated because they could lead to some form of poisoning. Illness from warming up cold food usually stems from bacteria growth when stored improperly or because of the way in which the proteins breakdown during the reheating process.

The severity of foodborne illness is usually dependant on the type of bacteria or virus causing the contamination. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Salmonella, Norovirus, Campylobacter, E.Coli, Listeria and Clostridium perfringens cause the most illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States.

There are about 48 million cases of foodborne illness per year which means that 1 in 6 Americans are affected by food poisoning annually. Roughly 128,000 of the cases result in hospitalizations and 3,000 in deaths.

So to prevent you and your family from contracting food poisoning, here are 6 common foods you should avoid reheating on the stove, in the oven or the microwave:

1. Rice

Improperly handling rice after the cooking process can lead to serious health complications. When left standing at room temperature, the warm and moist environment allow Bacillus cereus spores in the rice multiply and produce poisons that cause diarrhoea, cramps, vomiting and nausea. The B. cereus bacteria cannot be killed during the reheating process so how you store rice immediately after cooking is crucial. To prevent the nasty bacteria from getting into your system it is recommended that you serve rice as soon as it's cooked, immediately store leftovers in the fridge, don't leave freshly cooked rice out for more than an hour and don't eat leftover rice that's been in the fridge for more than a day.

2. Chicken

Chicken and eggs are usual culprits in many food poisoning cases. If they aren't cooked or reheated all the way through, the salmonella bacteria can lead to severe illness characterized by diarrhoea, fever, abdominal cramps, vomiting. There's an even higher risk of getting sick if using a microwave to reheat the dinner staple because the heatwaves do not penetrate the meat evenly. Additionally, chicken has a higher density than red meat therefore the proteins react differently to heat and can cause discomfort when eaten.

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3. Mushrooms

The proteins present in the fungi deteriorate as soon as they're cut up and heating them up a second time can trigger an upset stomach. Mushrooms should be eaten soon after they're prepared and if you have leftovers they should be eaten cold to keep from getting sick.

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Click on the next page for more food you shouldn't give a second go in the oven or microwave including potatoes.

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