If you are a person who constantly eats leftovers, next time, you should think twice before you do this, as leftovers could be bad for your health.
Leftovers don’t taste as good as when they were freshly made, but they are very convenient since it takes only a few minutes in the microwave and the food is ready. However, with leftovers consumption, the risk of food poisoning increases. Hence, as stated by the Food Standards Agency, the secret to safe eating are the four Cs: cooking, cleaning, chilling, and cross-contamination or avoiding it. Moreover, they point out the importance of thorough cooking, especially meat, so that possible harmful bacteria can be destroyed. When it comes to reheating meals, you need to make sure the food is steaming hot all the way through, and never reheat dishes more than once. You should never reheat these three foods:
The problem with eating leftover rice mainly stems from the way it is stored. According to the Food Standards Agency, uncooked rice may contain spores of harmful bacteria that survive throughout the initial cooking process. If leftover rice is not kept at the right temperature, these spores will spread and multiply, and may cause digestion problems such as diarrhea or vomiting if consumed.
Reheating the rice doen’t help, as these are spores that are able to survive even boiling hot temperatures. It is best to eat all of your rice right after it is cooked, however if you do have some left over, put it in your fridge or your freezer immediately after you are finished with it. Don’t let it sit at room temperature for longer than an hour, as the longer it is left out the more these dangerous spores will spread.
Even though some people believe that reheating leafy greens can make them toxic, it is actually the storing that increases their toxicity. According to the Center for Food Safety, leftover vegetables shouldn’t be left in an area where the temperature is below 4 degrees Celsius. If you plan to store them for more than 12 hours, you should put them in the freezer. This is because a lot of veggies like spinach, celery, lettuce, and beets contain nitrate. Although nitrate is not dangerous on its own, when vegetables are left at room temperature, bacteria cause the accumulation of nitrite- a metabolite of nitrate. The consumption of nitrate can be harmful to infants and young children as it can lead to a blood disorder called methemoglobinemia whose symptoms are headaches, shortness of breath, seizures, and fatigue.
3. Vegetable oil
Reheating meals with vegetable oil can increase the risk of a stroke and even ᴄᴀɴᴄᴇʀ. Latest research has shown that repeatedly heating up polyunsaturated oils which have linoleic acid like canola, corn, sunflower, and soybean can release toxic compounds which cause many different health disorders. The main culprit for this is the fatty acid called 4-hydroxy-trans-2-nonrnal (HNE) which has been linked on numerous occasions to ᴄᴀɴᴄᴇʀ, liver disorders, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases. The American Dietetic Association revealed that reheating vegetable oil over and over again releases this toxic acid and can lead to a number of ailments. Jeannie Moloo a spokeswoman for the Association said that everyone should be concerned with this issue and be careful when preparing their meals. Never heat an oil to the point of smoking it could be ғᴀᴛᴀʟ.