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Leftover rice: delicious but deadly?

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    I just made mushroom risotto (with risotto rice, courtesy of flatmate trying to empty her cupboards). Anyway, it was very nice, and I want the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. But I've heard that reheated rice can cause some very nasty food poisoning. True? Is it safe to eat leftover risotto?
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    You can catch a nasty form of food poisoning from reheated or badly cooked rice - the bacterium is called bacillus cereus (or something like that lol). The greatest danger is from rice that has been stored incorrectly, ie kept too warm, so it's never really advisable to eat rice salads, for example, or reheat the rice that's been left out all night from a takeaway.
    I try not to cook too much rice as I prefer not to take chances, but if you've stored your risotto properly, and you reheat it properly, then the chances of you getting ill are tiny. I would advise though, that if you're sharing a fridge in student accommodation, it might be better to steer clear of foods that do carry a high risk, as other people might not be as clean as you. Sorry to sound paranoid lol, but that's what working in catering does for you ...
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    If you allow it to cool quickly and then put it in the fridge then it should be okay. If you leave it out for too long at room temperature then that's when there is the danger of food posioning. I eat rice alot and always handle it that way and so far so good. Remember to cover it properly when it is in the fridge....foil is the best, enjoy.
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    The two flatmates usually responsible for messing up the kitchen have gone home for Christmas & it is beautifully clean thanks to our neatnik postgrad resident. So getting contaminated from the rest of the kitchen is not such a worry, heh. It wasn't out for long, I basically ate my tea & then stuck the remaining rice in a tupperware & put it in the fridge. But yeah, is pleasing to know that reheated rice does not automatically poison you if handled properly. I will see what happens...
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    Don't leave it out and chill it quickly. Either it it cold, or reheat it *very* thoroughly.
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    :eek: i did not know this?!
    i always eat leftover rice, and i have had rice salad couple of times as well.
    honestly, i never knew it was that high risk of food posioning, lol i am in shock.:p:
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    It's not one of the most 'deadly' foods lol, but cooked rice is regarded by environmental health officers as falling into the 'high risk' category. Certainly, in food hygiene training, I've always been advised to avoid it as far as possible. There was a case a couple of years back when an outside caterer poisoned an entire wedding party with a rice salad - I'm not sure of the details but I remember that a couple of the people were made very seriously ill indeed.
    I've also been told by an EHO that the reason a lot of people get ill after takeways is not because of a dodgy curry/chinese, but because of the rice. In order to save time, a lot of takeaways cook a huge quantity of rice early in the day and just reheat it as needed - obviously it's not always stored properly or reheated sufficiently and so is actually quite a significant cause of food poisoning. So, I never buy rice from a takeaway lol ... cooking my own is far cheaper anyway.
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    i used to always reheat rice until i found out, and im paranoid about food poisoning so i dont do it now!
    my housemates do all the time though, after leaving it out uncovered all night even in summer, and nothings ever happened to them.
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    Woah. Now I have become properly paranoid about takeaway rice. Come to think of it, I've eaten leftover takeaway, rice & all, plenty of times and never had any problems. But now I'm going to be a bit more careful.

    Ate the risotto, after boiling the crap out of it. It's been reheated to within an inch of its life, so I will not be impressed if it poisons me now. Normally I don't eat potentially risky leftovers, but I'm running out of food, it being the end of term... don't want to do any more shopping.
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    Hope I'm not making anyone too paranoid here lol!! Seriously, the chances of you getting a bad bout of food poisoning from cooking at home are relatively small, as long as your fridge is cold enough, your kitchen is relatively clean and you're sensible when you prepare 'high-risk' foods, like raw meat. Like I said before, I'm just paranoid because I've done too much food hygiene training - living in halls with a filthy kitchen was absolute hell for me! The rules about what can and can't be done to food that is being sold for consumption go far, far beyond what most people would consider safe to do at home. That's as it should be, but you certainly don't need to have a sterile home kitchen to be 'safe'!

    But, as I said, just take sensible precautions and don't worry too much. For most people, a bout of food poisoning caused by bacillus cereus is, although unpleasant, not likely to be *that* bad. It's not (generally) a real nasty, like salmonella, botulism, e.coli or listeria is.
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    (Original post by Paeony)
    It's not one of the most 'deadly' foods lol, but cooked rice is regarded by environmental health officers as falling into the 'high risk' category. Certainly, in food hygiene training, I've always been advised to avoid it as far as possible. There was a case a couple of years back when an outside caterer poisoned an entire wedding party with a rice salad - I'm not sure of the details but I remember that a couple of the people were made very seriously ill indeed.
    I've also been told by an EHO that the reason a lot of people get ill after takeways is not because of a dodgy curry/chinese, but because of the rice. In order to save time, a lot of takeaways cook a huge quantity of rice early in the day and just reheat it as needed - obviously it's not always stored properly or reheated sufficiently and so is actually quite a significant cause of food poisoning. So, I never buy rice from a takeaway lol ... cooking my own is far cheaper anyway.
    i always order rice, but i never eat it the day after. (actually do not eat take away at all the day after unless it is pizza :p: ) but when i cook it at home i like i already mentioned do.

    lol, i would not be surprised if i got food poisoning now, when i know that it can happen.
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    what about sushi? (i cannot get this out of my head:p: )
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    Is this for real :eek: Rice is a staple part of my diet I ALWAYS eat it ... leave it a day then have some more. No food poisioning yet
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    Isn't Chinese fried rice made by frying cold, cooked rice :confused:
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    Is is true, but, as I said before, the risk is fairly minimal. I've been warned about the dangers of rice in food hygiene training, but I can honeatly say that I've never personally known anyone who has been poisoned by rice. However, because I'm aware of the dangers of food poisoning, I'm careful about it and I certainly wouldn't serve cold or reheated rice to anyone.

    I would imagine that sushi is made slighly safer because of the vinegar added to the rice, and also because any decent sushi place would be subject to some of the most stringent food hygiene regulations, partly because of the rice but mainly because they are preparing and serving raw fish. If the sushi is properly chilled and prepared, and not left out of proper refrigeration for too long, then it won't do you any harm at all.

    As for the Chinese fried rice, yes that's how it's made. As I've said, if the rice has been properly stored and is reheated properly, then there's no reason why you should get ill. However, takeaways are notorious for generally having very poor standards of food hygiene (there was a recent FSA report highlighting this) and so, personally, unless I knew the place was clean I wouldn't risk eating reheated rice from one.

    However, like I've said bacillus cereus poisoning is NOT one of the most common forms of food poisoning. There are parts of the world where rice is a staple of the diet and they all seem to be staying alive lol. The truth is that if you don't prepare and store food properly, you risk getting food poisoning, so it's always worth storing cooled food in the fridge as soon as you can and keeping you kitchen reasonably clean. Getting poisoned by rice isn't *that* likely at all, so it's not something to worry about on a day-to-day level. However, cooked rice is classed as a high risk food so it's up to you whether you want to eat it the day after.
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    well, well I never knew that:eek: . I always leave leftover fried rice (mmmm chicken fried rice) in the microwave and eat it the following evening lol. Wont be doing that again
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    My goodness, I never knew this! Does the same go for pasta then? As someone warned me about not re-heating pasta, and I never knew why...
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    Mm, I didn't know this until a friend was reheating rice for me and him the other night and his Mum raised an eyebrow. I'm still alive though and I assume he is, so it didn't do us any (obvious) harm.
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    (Original post by guitargirl03)
    My goodness, I never knew this! Does the same go for pasta then? As someone warned me about not re-heating pasta, and I never knew why...
    You can catch bacillus cereus poisoning from reheating pasta (apparently, you're more likely to get the diahorrea, rather than the vomiting from that - lovely) but it's very unlikely. You're actually far more likely to catch food poisoning, if you're going to, from the sauce or the stuff you've added to the pasta rather than the pasta itself. However, like most forms of food poisoning it can largely be avoided by making sure that you follow basic food hygiene rules, so I wouldn't worry about it.
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    (Original post by Paeony)
    You can catch bacillus cereus poisoning from reheating pasta (apparently, you're more likely to get the diahorrea, rather than the vomiting from that - lovely) but it's very unlikely. You're actually far more likely to catch food poisoning, if you're going to, from the sauce or the stuff you've added to the pasta rather than the pasta itself. However, like most forms of food poisoning it can largely be avoided by making sure that you follow basic food hygiene rules, so I wouldn't worry about it.
    Ah, okay. When I do re-heat pasta, it's just plain...

    Thanks for the advice and tips, you've been very helpful! I think a rep is in order

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Updated: December 18, 2006
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