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Five foods that should never be reheated

Spinach contains high levels of nitrates, which when reheated can convert into nitrites. Nitrites are potentially harmful compounds that may become carcinogenic when heated multiple times. It’s best to consume spinach fresh or cold to avoid this conversion.

Similar to spinach, celery also contains nitrates. Reheating celery can lead to the formation of nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens. Eating celery raw or in cold dishes avoids this risk.

Chicken, particularly when reheated, can harbor harmful bacteria like Salmonella and Campylobacter. These bacteria can multiply rapidly in cooked chicken when it’s reheated improperly, leading to foodborne illnesses. If reheating chicken, ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to kill any bacteria.

Reheating eggs can cause them to become rubbery and release potentially harmful toxins. Eggs contain proteins that can break down when reheated, leading to changes in texture and flavor. If you must reheat eggs, do so gently and avoid overcooking.

Rice can contain spores of Bacillus cereus, a bacterium that can cause food poisoning. When rice is cooked and left at room temperature, these spores can multiply and produce toxins that are not destroyed by reheating. To avoid this, store rice in the refrigerator immediately after cooking and consume it within one day. If reheating rice, make sure it’s thoroughly heated to kill any bacteria or toxins.

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