Rice falling on a pile close-up on a white background. Isolated
Why You Should Think Twice Before Eating Leftover Rice
By Angel Albring
Rice is a versatile side dish that is cheap, easy to cook, easy to store, easy to reheat, and is a good source of several essential nutrients including B vitamins, iron, and zinc, in addition to being gluten-free. However, if you’re someone who eats a lot of rice, you should think twice before eating it as leftovers.
Leftover rice is safe to eat if stored properly and reheated thoroughly, but there are some potential health risks, including the growth of a bacterium called Bacillus cereus. Rice can contain spores of this bacteria that can survive the cooking process and can quickly multiply if cooked rice is stored at room temperature, especially if it’s out for more than a couple of hours.
You can reduce the risk of this bacteria growth by storing leftover rice in the fridge or freezer within two hours of cooking and throwing away any rice that’s been at room temperature for an extended period of time. Cooked rice can stay good in the fridge for three to five days and in the freezer for six months — anything older than that should be thrown away.
To reheat your leftover rice properly, ensure that it has an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Never reheat rice more than once, as this can increase the risk of bacterial growth even more — if you still have leftover rice after reheating once for another meal, just throw it away.