Nosestretcher alert: don’t reheat these foods

The New Zealand Herald says there are 5 five foods that shouldn’t be reheated because of risks. The headline and lede aren’t helpful.

Three of them are cited for foodborne illness reasons:

1. Chicken

As well as other poultry, it’s well known chicken requires careful preparation and cooking to avoid salmonella contamination.3cca9502c5860cc6a373976ef8c0d896

The main issue with reheating chicken in a microwave, as opposed to other methods, is that the heatwaves don’t evenly cook all parts of the food.

How about cook it to 165F in the first place – and then reheat to and check with a digital tips-sensitive food thermometer.

2. Rice

According to the Food Standards Agency, the storage of rice is crucial. Being left out at room temperature provides the perfect breeding ground for spores which could be the cause of vomiting and diarrhoea.

3. Potatoes
Like rice, potatoes require proper storage after cooking. Otherwise they provide conditions ideal for bacterial growth. Leaving them at room temperature, particularly when they’re covered in tin foil, can result in the growth of Clostridium botulinum (botulism). They need to be cooled and refrigerated. Reheating them won’t kill off the bacteria either.

Or, leaving these foods at room temperature is risky. Reheating isn’t a factor.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.