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?

AmberLeaf Thu 08-Nov-12 21:48:10

I reheat rice.

Have done all my life and im still here!

notnowbernard Thu 08-Nov-12 21:48:10

You can't eat rice? (!)

Why? I have done this for years...

omletta Thu 08-Nov-12 21:50:02

You can reheat rice, you must just do it quickly and cool it quickly.

Don't allow it to spend any time in the 'danger zone' 8 to 67 degrees and it will be fine.

ThatBintAgain Thu 08-Nov-12 21:50:27

You can reheat but you just need to be careful with it. I wouldn't if it was older than about a day and I always nuke it to make sure. Had the most horrific food poisoning from re-heated rice in India, I actually thought I might die.

milkysmum Thu 08-Nov-12 21:50:58

I always re heat rice too!!

tigerdriverII Thu 08-Nov-12 21:52:19

I didn't know anything about not reheating rice until that thread a couple of weeks ago. I am 50 not in the first flush of youth and it was a complete revelation to me. I was wondering this about frozen paella, which we eat all the time. I guess if frozen quickly and then cooked well its ok but no doubt someone's going to tell me I am a health hazard.

RightUpMyRue Thu 08-Nov-12 21:52:29

Why is reheated rice particularly dangerous?

The problem with rice is that the bacteria that can grow in it releases spores that are heat-resisitant, so if you are unlucky enough to have a contaminated batch, heating it won't kill the spores. I personally don't risk it.

AmberLeaf Thu 08-Nov-12 21:53:53

Rice is apparently one of the worst culprits but I am very lax with storing it and heating it and im still here.

drcrab Thu 08-Nov-12 21:54:10

You do know that most fried rice is made using reheated rice? At least a day old?

vodkaanddietirnbru Thu 08-Nov-12 21:56:05

it is the amount of time left at room temperature before storing in the fridge/freezer that is the issue so if it is stored quickly and then reheated properly there should be no problem.

From nhs site:

You can get food poisoning from eating reheated rice. However, it's not the reheating that causes the problem but the way the rice has been stored before it was reheated.

How does reheated rice cause food poisoning?

Uncooked rice can contain spores of Bacillus cereus, a bacterium that can cause food poisoning. When the rice is cooked, the spores can survive.
If the rice is left standing at room temperature, the spores can grow into bacteria. These bacteria will multiply and may produce toxins (poisons) that cause vomiting or diarrhoea.
The longer cooked rice is left at room temperature, the more likely it is that the bacteria or toxins could make the rice unsafe to eat.

Tips on serving rice safely

Ideally, serve rice as soon as it has been cooked.
If that isn't possible, cool the rice as quickly as possible (ideally within one hour).
Keep rice in the fridge for no more than one day until reheating.
When you reheat any rice, always check that the dish is steaming hot all the way through.
Do not reheat rice more than once.

omletta Thu 08-Nov-12 21:56:09

Because I'd the type of bacteria which it can support, Bacillus Cerious (sp), this type of bacteria is harmless and can not multiply when the rice is either hot or cold, but when in the middle ( the danger zone) it multiplies at an alarming rate.

It it interesting that some cultures seem to be immune to this, if I were a scientist I would investigate.

omletta Thu 08-Nov-12 21:57:27

Sorry my post was in response to RightUpMyRue.

AmberLeaf Thu 08-Nov-12 21:57:48

<amazed im still here>

The bacteria is bacillus cereus. Like any bacteria that causes food poisoning, it is the quantity of the baceria present, and how vulnerable you are to it. However, if you are affected by this particular bacteria it is awful, and can be life-threatening. When people say they've had a dodgy take-away it's usually the rice that's the culprit although people assume it's the meat.

I reheat rice. It freezes really well too.

ThatBintAgain Thu 08-Nov-12 22:01:56

I worked with a bloke who made a pan of soup with rice in on a Monday evening and he left it on the stove all week, reheating each night. About half way through the week it half killed him. That really was dim though, leaving it out at room temperature in liquid for days...

Narked Thu 08-Nov-12 22:02:05

When it's cooked, you just tip it into a sieve and rinse it with cold water. Then bung it into the fridge.

omletta Thu 08-Nov-12 22:04:49

Thank you MyCat.

Selks Thu 08-Nov-12 22:04:55

So what is the best way to cool cooked rice quickly?

omletta Thu 08-Nov-12 22:05:49

Cold running water.

AmberLeaf Thu 08-Nov-12 22:07:04

Selks that all depends on how you cook your rice!

I use the absorbtion method and wouldn't dream of running cold water on it.

Selks Thu 08-Nov-12 22:18:01

Must say I don't like the sound of running cold water through it, sorry.

I usually put it in a bowl and cover immediately, then cool on the side for half an hour then into the fridge.

omletta Fri 09-Nov-12 06:48:18

No, definitely cold running water, it is by far the safest and fastest way, unless you have a blast chiller of course.

With cold running water you can cool the rice in a couple of minutes. Leaving it at room temperature for an hour means you are putting it into the dangerous temperature zone, given that it is only safe at the temperature for two hours I would waste one of them letting it cool on the side.

CountBapula Fri 09-Nov-12 06:56:37

What about risotto then? You wouldn't pour water over that. Does that mean you shouldn't reheat it? If not, how come you can get risotto as ready meals?

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.

vodkaanddietirnbru Fri 09-Nov-12 08:05:54

I'd put it on a plate/in a dish and then cover and put in the fridge or put in a freezer bag/tub and put straight into the freezer. I havent noticed it making much difference to the internal temperature of the fridge/freezer so feel it is ok not to cool it completely before storing it.

Furball Fri 09-Nov-12 08:18:34

with all bought ready cooked rice, they steam it first so the bacteria is killed - saw it on
jimmys food factory

AmberLeaf Fri 09-Nov-12 09:58:06

Cold water rinsers rice must taste well shit sorry!

Narked Fri 09-Nov-12 11:21:37

grin You don't cook much then?

omletta Fri 09-Nov-12 17:56:40

How do you think restaurants do it?

Putting hot stuff in your fridge or freezer is unwise as it will affect the temperature, and isn't good for the appliance.

And the answer to ready meal risotto is a blast chiller.

Only pasteurisation kills this bacterium.

culturemulcher Fri 09-Nov-12 18:01:09

Lordy, I've been wantonly reheating, semi-reheating, and re-reheating rice for ever and ever, as have my parents. Not as much as a tummy ache.


Meringue33 Fri 09-Nov-12 18:24:52

Dear-o! Thanks all! Think I will give it a miss this time as pregnant though we put it in the fridge quick! Thanks for all the prompt advice! :-)

AmberLeaf Fri 09-Nov-12 18:29:33

How do you think restaurants do it?

Indian, chinese and caribbean ones cook rice by the absorbtion method and you cant run cold water over rice cooked that way.

So for them, I have no idea.

omletta Fri 09-Nov-12 20:00:40

Sorry to be pedantic but I don't understand why you can't run cold water over absorption method cooked rice? Surely you cook and eat, but ant leftover could be cooled quickly to be reheated later? - or am I being dim?

omletta Fri 09-Nov-12 20:01:11

Not ant....any!

WrathdePan Fri 09-Nov-12 20:08:27

I cook by the absorption method. CAn't see the prob with running cold water over the left overs to quickly cool it and then re-heating it next day. Unless I am in the dim class with omletta.

Tuttutitlookslikerain Fri 09-Nov-12 20:09:09

I had food poisoning from reheated rice once(from a hotel function not my kitchen.)It was horrendous, the stomach pains were not unlike contractions. I never reheat rice, I don't even eat rice salads. One woman who was ill nearly died, it was that bad!

Mintyy Fri 09-Nov-12 20:11:19

Its astonishing that so many people don't know about food poisoning from rice. We all know to be careful with chicken, seafood, pork etc. But why not rice? There should be some kind of campaign.

SecretCervix Fri 09-Nov-12 20:55:47

What is the absorption method?

WrathdePan Fri 09-Nov-12 20:58:41

Cervix - double volume of water to rice - eg I cup of rice in two cups of water. Simmer v v slowly, covered ( though you can stir it in the first minutes) for about 15 mins til all the water has been absorbed. Brown rice is about 40 mins.

AmberLeaf Fri 09-Nov-12 22:19:45

I don't think anyone is being dim and I don't mean to imply that at all.

I think we all have different ways of cooking.

To basically 'wash' rice after it is cooked seems nuts to me~!

I often cook rice that has other things in it, like biriani or rice and peas, rinsing that in cold water just wouldn't work.

I think some of us really must be immune to the bacteria, because I must break every rice safety rule going and ive never been unwell because of it.

Absorbtion method, wash the rice well so that the water runs clear, you do that by putting it in the cooking pan and filling with cold water and draining several times till its clear, add salt and water to the level of your second finger knuckle if you place your fingertip on the top of the rice, bring to the boil, boil out till most of the water is gone [about 8 mins depending on volume] then turn down low and put the lid on. the last part is basically steaming.

Startail Fri 09-Nov-12 22:40:52

I love rice and have been reheating rice in all its manifestations for a huge no. of years. I shall continue to live dangerously I fear.

Tepid prawn soup on the other hand I shall not eat again.

(unfortunate holiday experience that I do not wish to repeat)

omletta Sat 10-Nov-12 06:51:58

I think you are right Amberleaf in that some people must be immune, otherwise more people would be ill because few people realise the importance of cooling quickly if you are gong to reheat.

The safetest way to eat any food is to cook and eat immediately.

Size6feet Sun 11-Nov-12 07:45:24

Thank you for that link furball . Very interesting. I rinse my uncooked rice well - in a seive under cold running water.

TheHairyDieter Sun 11-Nov-12 07:51:21

Oh gosh, I sent my DS to school this morning with a rice salad I had just made, that was still a bit warm. The temperature is in the 80s today. It will be hanging around in his lunchbox for 6 hours.

I am now really worried confused

digerd Sun 11-Nov-12 08:05:34

For years I had rice always with a curry, and ate it all up, so never saved any to reheat. Now I,m older and not so active, I use the 2 minute packet and eat only half. Then some days later, after it being in the fridge, I reheat it in the microwave again. No tummy problems.

EIizaDay Sun 11-Nov-12 14:40:39

I'm horrified by the fact that lots of people don't wash rice properly before they cook it. Rice is filthy. Lots of people standing on it, touching it, sneezing, coughing, spitting on it, throwing it about in to containers etc etc. I've seen all of this in India so know what happens.

Rice needs to be washed and rinsed and washed and rinsed many times before you can cook it.

AmberLeaf Sun 11-Nov-12 15:23:13

Im with you there Eliza!

I thought everyone washed rice before it's cooked?

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.

vintageviolets Tue 13-Nov-12 08:51:58

Couldn't be bothered to read it all.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 13-Nov-12 08:52:28

The washing out dirt discussion is addressing a separate issue but appears to have become confused with the food poisoning one recently.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 13-Nov-12 08:53:40

Helpful that I've summarised then smile

vintageviolets Tue 13-Nov-12 08:56:59

Very grin

You have saved me from dying of boredom, which is probably worse than death by food poisoning!


lottiegarbanzo Tue 13-Nov-12 09:11:05

It is starting to feel that way!

amazingmumof6 Tue 13-Nov-12 09:11:34

I've had left rice out all night before several times, by accident mind you, and also have used cooked rice after storing it in fridge for up to 3 days -this is definitely news to me!

never had any problems either, ever, but I'll try to follow your advice and thank you for explaining it!

btw I've always used cold running water to quickly cool rice not eaten immediately, as did my mum and grandma, but only out of habit and for practical reasons: to avoid the grains to stick, plus I don't want to put hot rice in the fridge or freezer!

I wonder why we've never got ill - is it rare to have a "bad batch"?
or could I have been ill from it as a kid, but then developed immunity (same as jabs) ?

Gentleness Tue 13-Nov-12 09:34:45

Food poisoning from rice is vile. I had it when traveling in India and ignorantly choosing fried rice dishes as a safe option. It was vile for over 2 weeks. And after recovering had bouts where it seemed to reoccur for nearly 2 years. Either the bacteria was lingering somehow or it had made me more vulnerable.

The only food experience worse than that was eating dodgy chicken, but while that was grim, once the illness was over, it was over. I'm not fussy about food, but I'd not risk anything with rice. If it's not gone in the fridge within 30mins of being cooked, it gets binned.

ethelb Tue 13-Nov-12 09:38:21

I hate these thread. People miss the point. It's not that you can't reheat rice it is that it doesn't matter if it is 'piping' hot when you eat it as the heat makes no difference.

It is v rare to have a bad batch in this country as our rice is stored properly.

The more important point is to not eat old rice. I don't leave cooked rice more than 2 days.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 13-Nov-12 09:45:14

Amazingmum you've never had a problem because you're doing the right thing.

It is very rare. There is no immunity.

To cool rice, I put it in a shallowish dish and place in a sink surrounded by cold water. Leave a couple of minutes then change the water for ice cold again. I repeat this several times then once the rice is cold, put in fridge. The cold running water method is a safe way too. I just do it the other way by preference!

lottiegarbanzo Tue 13-Nov-12 10:00:21

ElizaDay, that is interesting about washing to get dirt out. I only think about washing before cooking in terms of starch and stickiness. Now you mention the dirt it's no surprise. Boiling dirt gives you - clean dirt! (That's what I learnt in primary school after finding residual jelly on a water glass - clean dirt!)

it is interesting, for the strong stomached, what is really in food, especially the unwanted extras. (One day, if feeling mischievous, I'll start a thread about biscuit beetles).

AmberLeaf Tue 13-Nov-12 10:03:55

Yum biscuit beetles!

Extra protein I say grin

amazingmumof6 Tue 13-Nov-12 10:49:51

"clean dirt" and "biscuit bugs"


funny how I could be doing the right thing without knowing it just by copying older generations habits...
...my mum will be happy to hear she did after all did teach me something useful! (I always challange her, less her...)

ethelb several people have already pointed out what you said, but I guess some of us just jump in without reading through - inlcuding yourself?

anyway, no harm in repeating sound advice! smile

amazingmumof6 Tue 13-Nov-12 10:51:55

about my mum I meant to say BLESS HER! <not less her, damn you stupid keys sticking!>

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