Cooking food at home is a necessity. Sometimes you will have leftovers, and sometimes not.
As much as warming last night’s dinner can be easy and convenient, it also comes with health risks, which you have to avoid.
According to health expert and founder of The Healthy Mummy, Rhian Allen, preparing meals at home is one of the simplest ways to make healthy eating habits that stick.
She says it’s important for you to store and reheat all the food you’ve made, as some ingredients can breed harmful bacteria, causing food poisoning or serious illness.
“Temperatures are just as important as storing when it comes to avoiding food poisoning. Even if food has been properly frozen or refrigerated, there’s still a chance that bacteria are present, which is why we need to be careful to make sure it’s reheated properly.
"Food that has been warmed up and left out between two and four hours cannot be put back in the refrigerator and must be consumed. Any food which remains in the danger-zone for four or more hours must be discarded,” says Allen.
Emphasising on spinach, eggs, cooked rice, and chicken, she says that spinach should not be reheated after its cooked, as it poses high risks of food poisoning.
“Chicken has a protein that starts to deteriorate and may cause digestive problems when it goes from cold to hot the second time around.
The general rule of thumb is if you want to enjoy leftover chicken warm, it’s best to reheat it in the microwave, a skillet, or the oven only one time after the original preparation.
Cooked rice is fine to reheat in the microwave, but you should always check that it is piping hot before eating. You can defrost rice in a fridge before heating or cook straight from frozen.
Eggs are like chicken, in that they are enriched with protein, which begins to deteriorate as soon as you cook it. Generally, it’s best to cook high-protein food that’s enough for one sitting, adds Allen.