In today’s world, cooking meals for the entire week and then reheating every day is a common way to save time. However, the benefits are quickly forgotten in the face of a bad case of food poisoning.
When it comes to reheating, how you handle food is important. Use your fridge to freeze food for not more than 48 hours. While reusing food, make sure it is piping hot throughout. While using a microwave to reheat, make sure to stir it once while reheating. The simple rule is that all leftovers need to be cooled quickly, stored properly and eaten within the recommended amount of time.
But the reality is that not all foods can be stored and reheated. Foods high in protein may be more prone to causing food poisoning.
Re-heating foods often increases the risk of multiplying the bacteria if heated insufficiently or cooled very slowly. It also increases the risk of food poisoning.
Here is a list of specific foods which should not be reheated.
One of the most favourite protein-sources eaten and relished world-wide is chicken. Re-heating degrades the proteins present in cooked chicken and produces toxins in them which when consumed can cause digestive problems.
The best way to consume chicken in order to attain the best amount and quality of proteins is by eating it immediately after cooking.
The problem with reheating mushrooms is the bacteria that develops between the cooking and the reheating time. If they are not cooled immediately after cooking their complex enzymes and protein structure can be destroyed and cause an upset stomach. The best time to eat mushroom is immediately after cooking.
3. Spinach And Other Leafy Vegetables
Since spinach, celery and carrots are rich in nitrates, reheating can cause the nitrates in these veggies to turn toxic and release carcinogenic properties. Nitrates don't become a problem until the heating process activates them. The safest tip for beet-lovers is to only cook as much as they think they'll eat in one go or plan to eat them cold as in salads.
Yes, you can get food poisoning from eating reheated rice. It's not the reheating that causes the problem but the way the rice has been stored before its reheated. Uncooked rice can contain spores of Bacillus cereus, a bacterium that can cause food poisoning. The spores can survive when rice is cooked. If rice is left standing at room temperature, the spores can grow into bacteria. These bacteria will multiply and may produce toxins that cause vomiting or diarrhoea.
Ideally, serve rice as soon as it has been cooked. If that isn't possible, cool the rice as quickly as possible (ideally within 1 hour). You can store rice in the fridge for no more than a day until reheating. When you reheat rice, always check that the dish is steaming hot all the way through. Also, do not reheat rice more than once.
When cooked potatoes are cooled and stored, it promotes the growth of Clostridium Botulinum, a bacterium causing botulism. Therefore, the best way is to cook them and consume them immediately.
Eggs, sadly, are one of those foods that one must not reheat, even though we know they taste delicious when served hot. Reheating this protein powerhouse when it's boiled or scrambled can be toxic. A fantastic protein source for sure, cooked eggs can be a source of serious sickness when left at or re-exposed to higher temperatures.
It’s a common practice to reuse cooking oil at times to save cost. But reheating oil or even using it in high temperature changes the chemical nature. Repeated heating of the oil accelerates oxidative degradation of lipids, forming harmful free radicals and depleting the natural antioxidant contents of cooking oil. Long-term ingestion of foods prepared using reheated oil could severely compromise one’s antioxidant defence network, leading to pathologies such as hypertension, diabetes and vascular inflammation.
We all are super busy all day long but it might be a great idea to eat fresh and save time elsewhere!
About The Author- Ms Amrita Parab is a nutritionist at Digestive Health Institute By Dr. Muffi