Reheating some of the leftovers can cause food poisoning and you should avoid reheating them to save your family from it
Never heat these leftovers as they can poison your family and pose great health risks
The habit of reheating
About 9 out of 10 people are habitual to reheat the leftovers before eating. Unfortunately, 97 percent of them don’t use a food thermometer to determine if they are reheating at the right temperature. First things first, always use a food thermometer to be sure if you are reheating your food properly. The optimal temperature is around 165F.
Another surprising fact is that more than one-third of people eat their leftover pizza from the night before, and to make things worse, even if they were not refrigerated. Pizza like other perishable foods follows the same principle of two-hour i.e. if a pizza has been there in the room temperature for more than two consecutive hours, just toss it.
People also use microwaves to defrost frozen meat. As we know the juices in the raw meat contain some harmful bacteria, we should take special care when defrosting it to avoid chances of cross contamination. One of the tips is to use separate plates and clean them between uses to eliminate any harmful bacteria that may be present in the meat.
Which foods should we avoid reheating (and then eating)?
People reheat the foods in an attempt to avoid wastage, to save the cost of getting something fresh or they are just too lazy to get something fresh. Whatever the reason is, while it’s safe to reheat (and eat) most of the foods, we should take special precaution in reheating the following as they can become a serious threat in no time:
Beets contain a high level of nitrate and that’s what reheating makes is a potentially dangerous food to eat after that. Because of Nitrate, the chemical composition can change and may result in becoming a non-edible food.
Isn’t it the most common reheated food we have around us? Think before you reheat chicken next time as it contains a high amount of protein in it which if heated for a day of so may cause digestive problems. If you find yourself with no option other than to eat leftover chicken, eat it cold.
Potatoes provide a high nutritional value for you and are very good for your health. But don’t let that argument make you believe they are equally good when reheated. Potatoes lose their nutritional values over time and eventually become toxic.
Mushrooms should be eaten fresh soon after preparation as their protein composition can change in just a day or so. This can cause the similar kind of digestive issues as that of reheated chicken.
Spinach contains a high level of nitrate and reheating it is very dangerous and can even turn the whole Spinach into a nitrate ball. This can prove to be carcinogenetic, is very dangerous and should be avoided.
Eggs can become toxic when exposed to high levels of heat. There is also no good reason to reheat them. Reheated boiled and scrambled eggs should be avoided and if consumed, can dramatically upset the stomach and cause pain.
Like Beets and Spinach, Celery also contains nitrate and its effects after heating is the same. Celery is usually added to soups etc. therefore its recommended to remove Celery before heating them to avoid any potential problems.
Turnips also contain good amounts of nitrate and should not be reheated and should be eaten cold.
So the next time you head towards the fridge and are tempted to reheat the food, think twice and keep the above list in mind. As a general rule avoid reheating all foods that contain nitrate, a high composition of Proteins and food that has been sitting there for a long time.
Also, make sure to reheat the food within limits of recommended temperatures. You may find more information about these temperature ranges in the manual of your microwave. Our first advice would be to eat fresh food and try not to store food more than what is absolutely necessary.
When it’s time to throw out your (leftover) food?
Trust your sense of smell. If you think something stinks, throw it away without even looking at it. Following are some basic guidelines that can help you better store your food:
a. Place the leftovers in containers that are shallow. Refrigerate at 40F or below and freeze the cooked poultry products/stuffing within two hours of cooking them.
b. Make sure refrigerated products are consumed within 2-3 days and the frozen food within three months.