Did you know there are certain foods you should never reheat?
April 17, 2017 4:13pm CST
I'm sure some of you know about this. I would have thought someone would have told me before now, and looking at this list, I'm surprised I'm still alive. I had no idea. 1. Chicken. This is what I read about reheating chicken. After you've cooked it the first time, you should only reheat it ONCE. Stomach problems can be caused from reheating chicken multiple times. And when you reheat it the first time, it goes without saying that you should make sure it heats up all the way through to make sure it's safe to eat. 2. Eggs. Well, for me, this would never be a problem. I don't think I've ever cooked eggs and then had enough left over that I needed to reheat them. But I read that reheating eggs can cause serious problems for our digestion. Now I don't know if this would be the same for something like a quiche that is basically an egg dish with other things in it. I've reheated quiche and I don't remember having problems. 3. Beets. I grew up always eating beets cold with a little oil and vinegar on them, and I don't eat beets much anymore. But beets, along with carrots or celery or spinach (also on this list) are high in nitrates. If you keep reheating these foods that are high in nitrates, they can become toxic for us. Did you know that? I had no idea! 4. Spinach. Same as with beets. If you have spinach left over from what you've cooked, either eat it cold, put it into a salad or toss it out. Don't take the chance reheating it and poisoning yourself. 5. Celery and carrots. These are also high in nitrates, so it's the same kind of problem here. Thankfully for me, I tend to eat these raw, either with hummus or in salads. But there are times when I will cook carrots and I don't think I ever thought twice about reheating them. ugh. 6. Rice. Well the first big problem with rice seems to be that right after cooking the rice, whatever you're not going to eat right away should be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container. Leaving rice out at room temperature can cause it to become poisonous and then reheating it...well that's just awful. Again, this is something I never knew. 7. Potatoes. Same as with rice. I read that you should never cook them and leave them out in room temperature to cool before storing them in the fridge. Whatever won't be eaten right away should be put right into the fridge or you could risk food poisoning. I know I've left potatoes out before. At a meal such as Easter, they sit on the table for a long time before leftovers are put away. I think we should all have gotten sick. 8. Mushrooms. I always loved Mom's mushrooms. Sauteed in some olive oil with a little salt and pepper and some sauteed onions. So delicious! Apparently, we should not be reheating these EVER. Well, I remember from those days of Mom cooking them that I'd take them out of the fridge and eat them cold. And they were wonderful! So what do you know about this list? Do you know if all of this is really true or am I passing around fake news? Some of it makes real sense to me and some is a little confusing. Claudia
13 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
I agree with @MALUSE. Leftovers are quite a popular item in this house and though we rarely heat leftovers a second time, it does occur from time to time. Carrots, rice, potatoes, spinach (usually in quiche), eggs, chicken....I've done it all, fed it to my children and my husband and the only time anyone around here has suffered from food poisoning it's been the result of something they've eaten elsewhere.
3 people like this
• Cambridge, England
In general, it is vegetables which have little or no acid (all of the ones you mention) which are breeding grounds for bacteria and therefore spoil the quickest when cold and it's harder to tell by smell when something is 'off'. The same applies to cooked meats, though salt is also an inhibitor, which is why bacon, ham and smoked sausage contain a fair bit of salt (they are usually also dried somewhat so that they contain much less moisture, which also helps preserve them). I have eaten all of the things you mention (and many more) reheated as left-overs and I don't think I;ve ever suffered ill effects. Of course, in the restaurant trade, hygiene has to be at a higher standard than we sometimes tolerate at home, so every chef has to be aware of the dangers of reheating foods (and of the necessity of cooling them quickly if they are to be stored and reheated, of course).
• Cambridge, England
@LadyDuck It all depends on what you mean by reheating. The point is that cold cooked chicken, especially, is an excellent breeding ground for all sorts of undesirable bacteria and most people's idea of 'reheating' would not kill any which had found their way into the meat and would simply make them multiply faster. Of course, as many can testify, most people don't die or get ill from eating reheated chicken but a restaurant can't afford to take that sort of chance and this sort of directive is almost always published for professional chefs or posted by someone who has read the food safety material which everyone on a catering course has to learn.