6 types of food that you shouldn’t reheat in the microwave


Reheating these types of food could make you sick

It feels like a complete waste to throw out a whole serving of food when you are stuffed and can’t eat anymore. Usually we would save leftovers in our fridge to reheat them again the next day. But it turns out that reheating certain foods could actually make you sick. 


All of these will probably be surprising to you but the one that surprised us the most, is that you should not reheat leftover rice. When you heat it up in the microwave, a bacteria called Bacillus cereus can contaminate the rice. This can lead to food poisoning when you consume your food.

If you really need to reheat your leftover rice, make sure you reheat all of the rice evenly. Your microwave unfortunately isn’t the best appliance for reheating your food evenly. That is why it is recommended to stir the food after a few minutes of microwaving it. By stirring your rice while you’re reheating it, you make sure all parts of the food become the same temperature. That will kill the Bacillus cereus bacteria and will prevent you from getting sick.

Do make sure you have stored your rice in the fridge right after cooking it the first time. If you leave rice out over night or let it sit on the counter for too long, the spores of the Bacillus cereus nestle in your food and those spores are heat resistant. That means that reheating your rice evenly won’t do you any good and you’ll still get sick from eating the rice either way.


Another type of food that you might want to throw out after cooking it once, is mushroom. Mushrooms contain a lot of water and protein which causes them to spoil quickly if not stored properly. If you want to save them in the fridge, you’d have to keep them in a bowl of water and reheat them at a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit). Just know that reheating mushrooms can result in an upset stomach later!


To be fair, you could theoretically reheat potatoes without any issues. But the important thing with reheating potatoes, is that you can only do it if you took proper care of the potatoes after cooking them. If you let your potatoes cool down to room temperature, a bacteria that causes botulism can grow in your food. And reheating them won’t save you in this case. So it is only save to reheat them if you have placed your potatoes in the fridge right after cooking them.


This one provides a problem for some people: a lot of dishes contain eggs. If you reheat eggs or a dish that has eggs in it, it could cause some serious health issues. This especially gets tricky with things like casserole, quiche and other egg dishes. Because egg or egg dishes should never be out of the fridge for longer than an hour. That means that your leftover casserole or the scrambled eggs you had for breakfast can not be reheated if they have already been out of the fridge for an hour. Leaving eggs or egg dishes out of the fridge will cause salmonella to multiply, increasing the risk of food poisoning.

Other foods that should not be reheated are: chicken and leafy greens like lettuce and spinach. And if you have been eating at a buffet restaurant, you should not bring home any leftovers. All of the buffet dishes will have been sitting at room temperature, causing bacteria to grow and multiply fast. Reheating this food might not kill all the bacteria and in this case it is better to be safe than sorry!

Also read: This is how to get your microwave oven squeaky clean within mere minutes

Source: Margriet, Insider, BBC | Image: Pexels