If you can't reheat rice...

(89 Posts)
Meringue33 Thu 08-Nov-12 21:46:19

...Does that mean you can't reheat rice soup?

Selks Sun 11-Nov-12 16:24:35

Given that rice is cooked in boiling water for 10 mins minimum I don't worry about the washing too much, and anyway the washing is for getting rid of excess starchyness as I understand it.

Yes Selks me too. It's all soggy if you don't wash it.

lottiegarbanzo Sun 11-Nov-12 18:34:56

You can cool by placing the pot in a tub or sink of cold water - reverse Bain Marie. Sushi rice is cooled by being spread thinly, then fanned!

However you do it, cool quickly, then refrigerate. As others have said it is not the reheating that harms, it's leaving it out warm or at room temp for a time. So reheated rice, not reheating rice can be a problem.

If you've avoided poisoning so far you're probably lucky rather than immune. Not every bag of rice contains the bacterium. Any one can. The poison produced is quite toxic. Just because you get away with something many times does not make you safe, it makes you lucky, so far.

AmberLeaf Sun 11-Nov-12 19:04:47

Well Ive had a very lucky nearly 40 years then!

Think i'll buy a lottery ticket with all this luck.

Me too Amber and my mum has had 65.

lottiegarbanzo Sun 11-Nov-12 20:39:11

Your luck reflects the fact that the incidence of poisoning is very low. A quick search reveals that in the US between 1972 and 1986 only 55 cases were reported to the Centre for Disease Control, though this is thought to be only 2% of the total, as it usually goes unreported.

That tiny incidence means you would be very unlucky to experience food poisoning from rice. However, the only people who can possibly be affected are those who eat rice that has been cooled and stored incorrectly.

lottiegarbanzo Sun 11-Nov-12 20:43:38

According to the US Food and Drug Administration web-site 'All people are believed to be susceptible to Bacillus cereus food poisoning', so no immunity.

AmberLeaf Sun 11-Nov-12 21:50:05

However, the only people who can possibly be affected are those who eat rice that has been cooled and stored incorrectly

That would be me, on a very regular basis, yet I haven't been affected?

drcrab Sun 11-Nov-12 21:55:32

I really don't get this.. My rice cooks in a rice cooker. After it cooks, it 'keeps warm'. I might switch it off after we are done eating. Sometimes I transfer the rice into a tub and stick it in the fridge. Tends to be cold. Then I'll use it for stirfry the next day or 2...

You do realise that the Chinese takeaway's special fried rice etc are usually made with old rice? Even ken hom suggests that we use cold old rice for fried rice!

Mintyy Sun 11-Nov-12 22:06:00

Are you saying that all these warnings and anecdotes on here are wrong then drcrab?

Yes, egg-fried rice might be better if it is made with pre-cooked cold rice. But that rice needs to be cooled and refrigerated quickly.

Why is it so hard to get your head round this. Plain true fact: cooked and re-heated rice is a danger in terms of food poisoning. Just because you haven't been poisoned so far doesn't make this untrue.

AmberLeaf Sun 11-Nov-12 22:08:14

It must be a minute danger then.

Teeny. Because people all over the world eat rice every day and they don't follow those cooling guidelines and they don't get sick.

drcrab Sun 11-Nov-12 22:13:27

mintyy no need for that tone. I've never had food poisoning from rice and I hope never to. My family and generations before that have eaten rice. We all grew up in a rice eating culture and frankly have never heard of washing the rice after cooking it. Waiting for the rice to cool down then sticking it into the fridge yes.

Fanning the sushi rice to cool it down yes. But there are other reasons for that; not quite the food poisoning angle.

ravenAK Sun 11-Nov-12 22:19:49

I put mine into teeny storage boxes & freeze as soon as we've finished dishing up & know there's a surplus. Instant child/lunch box size portions to microwave.

Not dead of it yet.

lottiegarbanzo Sun 11-Nov-12 22:31:42

Amberleaf, you're saying you could be affected but you haven't been. That's good.

The question mark seems to imply confusion about this. So, the incidence of poisoning, even amongst people who are at risk of poisoning, is very low; consider the numbers I gave at 20.39 in relation to the American population.

The only people who can be poisoned by rice are those who eat improperly cooled or stored rice. By doing so, you have a very small chance of being poisoned. Statistically, it is no surprise that you haven't been yet and you probably never will be but you could be. If you are it may be very unpleasant, as people have described upthread. You can choose to avoid the risk, if you wish.

Drcrab presumably your rice cooker keeps the rice hot enough to avoid bacterial growth (it would be a dangerous product and could not be sold for the purpose if not), then you cool it and refrigerate. The risk is if you keep it warm or at room temperature for a long time.

Reheated rice is not a problem if it's been cooled properly. I'm sure Ken Hom is careful with his. Takeaways sometimes are not and occasionally cause oubreaks of food poisoning as a result.

Someone posted the succint NHS summary and advice early in the thread. A moment on Google will tell you anything else you wish to know on the topic.

steppemum Sun 11-Nov-12 22:35:04

I used to live in Indonesia. Rice is staple diet. Most houses don't have fridges.

This was quite normal - cook rice for breakfast and use through day. Go to lunch/party and rice is on side at room temp. Has been there since cooked. Most buffets were served at room temp. Most houses use last nights rice fried up for breakfast. (no fridge)
Maybe room temp was so hot the bacteria didn't multiply grin

Now I know the science about the bacteria, but since I lived there I have never worried too much. Cook, eat, put left overs in fridge. Maybe not straight after dinner, maybe after kids have gone to bed (so 2 hours since cooked) Reheat till piping hot. May not eat within 24 hours.

I am much more wary of take away rice.

I know - shoot me.

lottiegarbanzo Sun 11-Nov-12 23:08:25

The way I see this, it's an easily avoidable risk, with no thrill or benefit to taking the risk, so I'll choose to avoid it.

Very similar to the risk of babies being infected by the bacteria that can be in formula and the option to reduce this by using water at at least 70c. That's also a very tiny risk with very (slightly more) serious consequences if it happens. It's a little bit faffier to avoid but, over all, a very similar type of choice.

EIizaDay Mon 12-Nov-12 07:48:17

Selks Given that rice is cooked in boiling water for 10 mins minimum I don't worry about the washing too much

Gads. So you think cooking unwashed rice in boiling water is going to clean it shock

culturemulcher Mon 12-Nov-12 22:25:57

Um, Eliza why wouldn't it clean it? It's been boiled for 10 mins. That's going to kill pretty much anything, surely?

omletta Tue 13-Nov-12 06:44:01

No boiling doesn't kill this bacteria as it has spores ( think of these as bacterium in heat proof coats).

The water is nothing to do with washing the rice, it's to do with cooing it quickly to make it safe by taking it out of the dangerous temperature zone.

Some people wash their rice before cooking, to remove the starch, which gives a different textured rice. Again nothing to do with cleaning it.

AmberLeaf Tue 13-Nov-12 07:04:32

Some people wash their rice before cooking, to remove the starch, which gives a different textured rice. Again nothing to do with cleaning it

Sorry, but no, it is to do with cleaning as well as ensuring it isn't a big starchy mess.

Oblomov Tue 13-Nov-12 07:07:30

You have to be very careful , because people get the wrong idea:
CountBapula: "It's annoying because risotto is something DS will reliably eat so I'd like to keep some in the freezer for him but I don't because I'm worried about the reheating thing."

Now we have someone not going to feed their ds frozen risotto.
Hardly what the aim is, is it?

vintageviolets Tue 13-Nov-12 07:11:46

All of the Chinese/Indian rices in tesco that are pre-cooked in tubs or sachets instruct you to cook for 2 mins in the microwave or stir fry.

I've always been fine.

EIizaDay Tue 13-Nov-12 08:29:50

Culturemulcher - put it this way. If you washed your dirty clothes in water without changing the water do you think they'd be clean?

As well as having seen rice being 'processed' in India I used to go to Indian cooking classes given by an Indian lady. Every week she'd tell us to make sure we washed the rice thoroughly (not just a swoosh about in the pan). It was many changes of water and sort of massaging smile the rice to get it clean.

XBenedict Tue 13-Nov-12 08:33:43

You can reheat rice (once) you must cool it after initial cooking as soon as possible and limit the amount of time it spends at room temp - that's what I was led to believe anyway.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 13-Nov-12 08:50:33

Yep, it's the cooling, not the reheating that's the issue.

Vintageviolets, if you read the thread, you'll understand why reheating these prepared rices is a non-issue. They'll have been cooled properly after cooking.

Sometimes takeaway rice, or rice cooked at home, is left out at room temperature for too long, allowing bacteria to exude indestructible poison, before being reheated. That can be a problem.

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