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Re-heating cold rice - dangerous?


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Old 16-05-2006, 14:40
Hypothetix
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For years and years, I've been cooking (and eating) chicken fried rice. I cook it according to an old Delia Smith recipe from one of her books. One thing she recommends is letting the rice go cold after boiling - and before frying - because hot rice sticks together and is difficult to fry in hot oil.

This the procedure I've followed for 10 years.

Happened to be talking about this to some friends last night, and they said: "Ooh, no, that's really dangerous! Re-heating cold rice causes a chemical reaction that can lead to terrible food poisoning. Never do it again."

Are they right? I've never heard of such a thing.

Has anyone fallen victim to food poisoning after re-heating cold rice?
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Old 16-05-2006, 14:42
sonban
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Yes reheating rice is fine you would only really not reheat meat.
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Old 16-05-2006, 14:42
_Ash_
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I'd heard similar but must admit I've heated cold rice (following Ken Hom's recipes) and I'm still here

No dodgy stomach afterwards either.
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Old 16-05-2006, 14:43
Elliebee
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They do it all the time in Chinese restaurants. I do too when cooking egg Fried Rice, I always run it under a cold tap to stop it sticking then fry it up.

I think it if you have had it 'sitting' around for a while then reheating that causes the problems.
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Old 16-05-2006, 14:44
uncle monty
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I always thought it was a no-no too, but I have some Annabel Karmel books with recipes for babies and children, and she says it's ok, and I saw somebody ask Ken Hom this on the TV once, and he said it was ok to do too.
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Old 16-05-2006, 14:44
Sigurd
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Well, there does seem to be something in what your friends are saying, Ash.

I've heard that reheating rice can cause food poisoning. Is this true?

It's true that you could get food poisoning from eating reheated rice. But it's not actually the reheating that's the problem it's the way the rice has been stored before reheating.

Uncooked rice can contain spores of Bacillus cereus, bacteria that can cause food poisoning. When the rice is cooked, the spores can survive. Then, if the rice is left standing at room temperature, the spores will multiply and may produce toxins (poisons) that cause vomiting or diarrhoea. Reheating the rice won't get rid of these toxins.

So, the longer cooked rice is left at room temperature, the more likely it is that bacteria, or the toxins they produce, could stop the rice being safe to eat.

It's best to serve rice when it has just been cooked. If that isn't possible, cool the rice as quickly as possible (ideally within one hour) and keep it in the fridge for no more than one day until reheating.

Remember that when you reheat any food, you should always check that it's piping hot all the way through, and avoid reheating more than once.
http://www.eatwell.gov.uk/asksam/kee...asksamcooking/
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Old 16-05-2006, 14:45
hiringandfiring
 
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my mother cooked more rice than the entire chinese population ever did.

she cooked it. we ate it. the leftover rice was refrigerated. the next evening it was back out on the table....definitely heated.

she would not chill it a second time though and heat it up a 3rd time.

smallish portions...well her idea of small anyway...
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Old 16-05-2006, 14:45
-meisje-
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I've heard this too but I've been eating both cold and reheated rice for years without any problem. I can see how there might be an issue with cold rice, since cooked rice is very starchy and therefore an excellent breeding ground for bacterica... but I'm sure it's fine as long as you keep it in a nice cold fridge and throw it away after a couple of days. Either that or heat it through thoroughly.
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Old 16-05-2006, 14:46
Elliebee
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This is from the foods standards agency website

Storing and reheating
There are a few things to remember when you are storing and reheating cooked rice and grains. This is because the spores of some food poisoning bugs can survive cooking.

If cooked rice or grains are left standing at room temperature, the spores can germinate. The bacteria multiply and produce toxins that can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. Reheating food won't get rid of the toxins.

Therefore, it's best to serve rice and grains when they've just been cooked. If this isn't possible, cool them within an hour after cooking and keep them refrigerated until reheating or using in a cold dish.

You should throw away any rice and grains that have been left at room temperature overnight.

Don't keep cooked rice and grains for longer than two days and don't reheat them more than once. Check the 'use by' date and storage instructions on the label for any cold rice or grain salads that you buy.
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Old 16-05-2006, 14:46
-meisje-
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Originally Posted by sonban
Yes reheating rice is fine you would only really not reheat meat.
You can reheat meat. You just have to do it carefully.
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Old 16-05-2006, 14:46
Sloopy
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Spores of bacteria can supposedly develop on rice which has been left at room temperature. You either have to keep it boiling hot or let it go completely cold, because re-heating won't kill off the bacteria.
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Old 16-05-2006, 14:48
Hypothetix
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Sigurd, thanks for that info and link.

I never leave rice cooling for more than an hour, so that's presumably the reason I haven't had any vomiting/diarrhoea/food poisoning-type problems.

Weird, though, to suddenly find out that rice can KILL!!!
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Old 16-05-2006, 14:49
Caramels
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There is a nasty form of food posioning that can be contracted from reheated rice.

If you make rice to be used in a salad, you should cool it rapidly, under running cold water, and keep it refrigerated until it is to be consumed.

I would never reheat rice. There probably is an advised temperature for it to be heated to, to kill bacteria, but unless you can find out what that is, I wouldn't recommend it in a domestic situation.
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Old 16-05-2006, 14:49
5th Horseman
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Of course you can, rice pudding is cooked before being packaged, you reheat it without any issues, the rice in almost all ready meals (curries, chinese) is cooked and then you reheat as is Uncle Bens rice.
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Old 16-05-2006, 14:50
sonban
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Originally Posted by -meisje-
You can reheat meat. You just have to do it carefully.
Thats just me i am funny when reheating meat
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Old 16-05-2006, 14:54
Harry, it sucks
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All these are guidelines are to reduce risk. Reheating rice (or meat) or not cooking chicken properly etc won't automatically give you food poisoning, but it does increase the risk.
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