• Rice is a staple in South African, households showcasing our diversity through our food from biriyani to seafood paella it is clear that rice has a special place in our homes.

    Leftover rice dishes especially hold so much flavour and excitement for many people and that is why it is important to ensure that when storing rice, we abide by safe measures to ensure that the leftover cooked rice that we eat does not make us ill.

    Here we provide ways that we can properly store cooked rice and why it is important to do so:

    Why is it important to properly store leftover rice?

    It is important to store leftover rice properly especially if you want to indulge in it at a later period because if not stored safely leftover rice can be exposed to certain bacteria which can cause foodborne illness.

    Bacillus cereus is a bacteria found in rice that forms spores. When cooked rice is left too long at room temperature levels, this allows the Bacillus Cereus to form spores at a rapid pace resulting in the production of dangerous toxins that can cause food poisoning.

    Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.

    How do we properly store leftover rice?

    • The first step in any rice preparation before the cooking itself is to ensure that our hands are properly washed with soap and water.
    • Do not leave your cooked rice outside at room temperature levels for longer than 1-2 hours.
    • Never place hot rice into the fridge immediately for storage as the heat can result in an increase of temperature for other foods which too can cause bacteria growth.
    • Once the rice has cooled down, place small amounts of rice in a tightly sealed shallow container.
    • When in the process of wanting to reheat leftover rice dishes, ensure that the rice is thawed if you have placed it in the freezer.

    Is leftover rice safe to eat?

    The answer is yes, but only if the rice has been tightly sealed in a container and you have followed the steps above.


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