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Leftovers: 8 Food items You Should NEVER Reheat

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You probably thought these leftovers were safe, but actually…

A lot of us are probably used to eating leftovers by now. After all, there is no need to throw away perfectly good food at the end of the night if it hasn’t been eaten. Not to mention, a lot of us are also cooking for multiple days; be it that you’re packing the food away in containers for tomorrow’s lunch or for dinner, there is a high chance you are not cooking for one night only. It would also be a waste of time to always cook for the current day only.

However, there are some foods that fare better as leftovers when compared to others. We’ve gathered some of the foods you should think twice about eating as leftovers and reheating, whether it’s because they’re prone to developing bacteria the longer you leave them at room temperature or because when reheated, they can end up being bad news for your stomach and health!

Let us know if you have had any problems with these foods before or if you have any others that you’d like to see included on our list!

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28 thoughts on “Leftovers: 8 Food items You Should NEVER Reheat”

  1. What your saying is you can’t reheat anything. I cook enough rice and chicken to last at least 3 days and spinach also my meal preps because I’m a Bodybuilder and I haven’t had any problems in doing so!

    1. Definitely wouldn’t reheat buffet food, but we’ve been reheating the rest for many years with no issue. We certainly won’t stop now.

  2. Nonsense….reheating may take some flavor away, but it won’t kill you unless you have a very delicate digestive system. I have reheated and enjoyed everything on this list expect buffet food. Be careful and not leave food on the counter too long and thoroughly heat before eating.

  3. I have been eating leftovers all my life, I have yet to get food poisoning or any other type of sickness. I do smell my food first, if it doesn’t smell delicious, or right, toss it.

  4. Such nonsense. I’m 75 years old and have been reheating leftover chicken, shrimp, and potatoes for years. Never got sick from them. I’m certainly not going to throw away perfectly good food!

  5. Okay, my family must have grown immune to any bacteria over the years as I am 61 years old and have reheated all these items many, many times and have NEVER had any family member sick from leftovers.

  6. Chicken must reach a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to kill the salmonella bacteria on the chicken. I would think that as long as you got the reheated chicken up to 160 for a short time you would be ok reheating it.

  7. The key to healthy left overs is to simply refrigerate soon enough so that evil bacteria doesn’t go unchecked. Often, may leftovers are better since ingredients and seasonings get better acquainted!

  8. The only item I agree with is Buffet food for you don’t know how long it sat and they only put the leftover from one tray onto another tray. Eat it there and forget everything else or don’t buy the buffet food at all.

  9. Most of these foods do not taste as good once re-heated, but I too have been re-heating them all my long life with no food poisoning issues. I was told by a health department inspector once that Microwave does not kill botulism, so there is that. Apparently it’s important to disinfect the microwave periodically if you have food spills or splatters in there.
    I imagine the bigger risk for food poisoning is leaving the food out at room temp too long.
    I got very sick once on soup that a friend made from turkey that sat out overnight.
    I guess what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

  10. With the price of food as high as it is, I will be eating my leftovers thank you very much. I’ve never gotten sick from eating leftover rice, chicken, fish. I put it in the fridge as soon as I can.

  11. My 70 year old brother & I always reheat
    chicken, rice & potatoes, etc. We know enough
    not to let things stay at room temperature long
    enough (more than a half hour) to spoil. When we reheat,
    we make sure food gets to over 375 to kill any
    bacteria. It has worked for us & our mother who
    recently passed away at age 103.

    1. Exactly what I am thinking. Heating up leftovers adequate has been going on in my family since caveman times. Of course there’s some things that we won’t even save for our dog.

  12. when i make chili i always refridgerate and reheat the next gay next day,the flavor comes out more and i have never had a issue

  13. All I can say is: “Wow!” I agree with every comment submitted prior to mine! I’m 64 and eat leftovers! One thing I most certainly do, though, is make sure foods are used/eaten before or at least by the “best by” date; if not, out it goes! Except for “day-old” bread! That becomes a small fruity bread pudding! And I also don’t mess around with fish, pork, eggs, or mayo! And wash out the microwave at least once a week, with a light daily wiping! Anyway, all y’all have a marvelous day! Toodles! 👋🏻👋🏼👋🏽👋🏾👋🏿👋

  14. I enjoy a piece of cold chicken now and then. Been reheating food like mom did forever. Im almost 80 years old.
    I wonder if leftover food was thrown away before refrigerators was invented.

  15. I have had food poisoning twice in my 67 years. Both bad. 1st was while in the Navy from hamburger gravy, left in a cast iron skillet over night. 3 days to recover. 2nd, spoiled hard boiled eggs on a pizza. This was worse, diarrhea, vomiting, and on an IV for 24 hrs.
    Now I am very careful of any food left over. Including home canning, moldy jams, etc. I found it hard to believe that so many have never been sick. Even a slight case, maybe not with diarrea, but soft stools, or cramps, Most think it stomach flu, but according to research, there is no virus that’s causes stomach flu. It’s always a food related event.

  16. Are you saying that we should not reheat at all. It seems that most everything is on the list of “do not reheat”!

    My question is what to do about meal delivery services!! Essentially, most all meal delivery services are foods that we re-heat at home — unless we are cooking with fresh ingredients, which is not what I’m doing.

  17. Very interesting and informative. I’m 46 yrs old and have consumed all of the food in the article heated up the next day or two except the buffet food. I’ve never had any type of GI problems at all in the way of pain, probably just a little gas. Not saying the article is wrong, I just think that if anything is reheated to the correct temperature to kill pathogens then all is well. Different strokes for different folks.

  18. We toss out so much food. when I was young my Mother would put our plate in front of us. we ate it, period. we never said we don’t like it. She always gave us enough to last us until the next meal. we never went into the ice box. Yes, I said Icebox. it was what we had before our first fridge . we had no “fast food” I had never seen a Macdonald’s until I joined the Navy. its sign said over two million sold. My point is that our food was fresh. My Mother walked to the store twice a week. No, we didn’t have a car. We never had leftovers. Too many sat at our table that didn’t have enough to eat. Many of the men didn’t have jobs. Many (mostly kids) were regular guests. My Dad was lucky to have a job as a ditch digger for Wayne County in Michigan. Because we are a wealthy nation we waste a lot. even our poorest are more well off than in many nations. Our kids don’t need to learn to cook. they just pop a meal into the microwave and go sit at the TV to eat. don’t like it? toss it away and get something else, it only takes three minutes. Most of our food is not really food in the normal sense of the word. Many have never tasted a real home-cooked meal. never had a glass of whole milk with the cream settling at the top.. never had chicken that was killed and prepared the same hour it was walking around. they haven’t had vegetables taken from the ground and prepared within minutes. Having spent my summers on my cousin’s farm I know what food should taste like. Do we wonder why our children get so many ailments? Asthma in so many. Why? we live in a bubble that is insulated from fresh air. our food is poisoned with the chemicals that make it last longer. Then we are given medication that is just as bad as the stuff we eat that caused it. If food tasted good we wouldn’t have left overs. the answer is to have a parent at home to teach them what to eat and how to cook it. When our society must have two incomes to support a home something is wrong. we are a rich nation but also poor. do we need all the things we have? Each child a phone for constant contact? an Ipad to keep them entertained.(and inactive). My home had no TV. No carpets. no hot water tank. no telephone. No car, No microwave. We did have a toaster for bread. no dishwasher (except for my sister and myself). No toys or big backyards. Yet we didn’t know we were poor. The poor people were the ones that sat at our table each day. If we didn’t have all these things would we still survive? Most would. many would give up and couldn’t cope. A partial answer is to stop government spending so we wouldn’t need to earn so much to support them. it is a government that is responsible for inflation. they spend so much that they need to borrow more. then print more money to cover it. Until it is stopped they will continue to make us sick to cover us with insurance that won’t cover us when sick. Our nation will collapse. All this for gov, power and control. Is it worth it?. ———— I, Grampa

  19. That’s crazy about all the foods that you shouldn’t eat as leftovers . I’m 67 years old and I’ve been eating leftovers all my life . Like one article I read . I smell the food first when left in fridge for long time . If it doesn’t smell good , toss it out …

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