Leftovers are something that many people love to consume, especially since it takes only a couple of minutes to turn them into a whole new meal. However, reheating some of your favorite meals can be dangerous to your health. The food should be cooked thoroughly to destroy any harmful bacteria that might be present in it.
But, certain foods should never be reheated more than once. The consumption of the following leftovers can seriously damage your health if you reheat or store them improperly. Here are four leftover foods that you should avoid eating.
An inappropriate way of storing leafy green vegetables can make them poisonous. The Center for Food Safety advises that the leftover vegetables should be stored at a temperature below 4 degrees Celsius. Also, if you plan to store these vegetables for a longer period than 12 hours, you need to freeze them. Many vegetables, such as spinach, beets, lettuce, and celery, contain high levels of nitrate. Even though this compound is not dangerous, if the vegetables are stored at a room temperature, a bacterial action can cause accumulation of nitrite. The consumption of nitrite is noted to be harmful to children because it can be responsible for causing methemoglobinemia, a blood disorder which symptoms are seizures, headaches, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
If you reheat meals that are made with vegetable oil, you increase your risk of stroke, heart attack, and cancer.
Recent research has concluded that reheating polyunsaturated oils that contain linoleic acids, such as sunflower,
soybean, canola, and corn oils can release 4-hydroxy-trans-2-nonenal (HNE), a fatty acid-derived toxin which can cause various health disorders. This toxic compound has been linked to many serious health conditions, including stroke, cardiovascular disease, liver problems, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, and even cancer. Jeannie Moloo, an American Dietetic Association spokesperson, states that the vegetable oil should be only used one time, and it should never be heated to the point of smoking.
The chicken contains a high level of protein. When cold chicken is heated for the second time, its protein composition alters, which can cause digestive problems. If you are reheating cooked chicken, you should make sure that it is thoroughly cooked and that the inside is piping hot.
This is particularly important if you are reheating the chicken in a microwave, which usually doesn’t cook evenly. Also, you should keep in mind that the leftover chicken can be safe to be consumed for up to two days.
Improperly stored rice can be very harmful to your health. The Food Standards Agency claims that uncooked rice might contain spores of harmful bacteria which survive in the initial cooking process. If the rice is stored at a room temperature, these spores are likely to multiply, which can lead to some digestive problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
The spores can survive even if you reheat the rice, so the best option is either to consume all of the rice after it is cooked or to store it in your fridge or freezer immediately. To prevent the dangerous spores from spreading, you should never let the rice stay at a room temperature for more than an hour.