Skip to Content

Storing And Reheating Leftover Rice The Wrong Way Can Make You Sick

All students love eating heated leftovers – it’s a cheap and easy way to revisit the delicious takeaway you could afford last night with the last remains of your student loan.

However, science has discovered that there’s one food that you should definitely never reheat – rice!

Everyone loves rice. It’s really easy to make, ridiculously cheap and, when you order it with Chinese, it’s often either deliciously fried or boiled and soft and aromatic.

However, saving the perfect rice for the next day and reheating it to eat it again? Not so cool, according to the NHS.

Experts have discovered that at room temperature, rice becomes the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria.

In fact, the longer you leave it out, the easier it is for bacteria and toxins to find a home among the delicious grains and ruin your gut horribly.

However, if you do want or need to store rice – because, after all, measuring appropriate quantities of rice to cook is a very difficult skill to master – there are some things you can do to ensure you don’t get ill.

First of all, you might think it’s a good idea to shove the rice straight into the fridge while it’s still warm, but that actually encourages bacteria to spread to your other food.

Instead, try to chill your rice at room temperature first before you put it in the fridge, therefore if any bacteria has developed in the warmth it will be killed by the cold and not breed again!

Africa Studio / Shutterstock

Definitely eat your rice on the day after refrigerating, too. Keeping rice in the fridge for more than one day can cause it to go bad, and it won’t taste that good either.

Moldy rice is not a pretty picture and definitely not for someone who has to clean it.

If any bacteria have had a chance to develop through your storage process, make sure to heat the rice until it’s piping hot.

The extreme heat will kill any possible toxins and ensure that the rice is as healthy as it can be for your gut.

And finally, never ever reheat rice more than once – that’s just a recipe for disaster!

Believe it or not, rice has actually landed people in the hospital before.

If you feel bad after eating leftover rice, you might contribute it to other ingredients in it that might have gone bad and not the rice itself.

But in fact, there is such a thing as “fried rice syndrome” – that develops when you leave fried rice at room temperature for too long!

The symptoms are the same as food poisoning, so if you feel ill after eating rice get yourself to the doctor straight away.

Do you know someone who’s felt ill after eating rice? They might not know how to heat and store it properly!

Make sure to share this article with your friends and family to raise awareness of how to store rice if we want to eat it the next day.