11 Leftovers That Can Make You Sick

Did you have a weekend party and now there are leftovers? Well, the best part about making yummy homemade meals is that you can enjoy them the next day. But did you know certain leftovers can make you sick? You could be unknowingly putting your health at risk. 

Today we’ll discuss 11 leftovers you should not eat as they can make you sick. Why are beets on the top of our list? Why should you always eat freshly made eggs and seafood? What about buffet food? We’ll talk about all of these AND more…

Let’s Begin The Discussion By Talking About Beets First. 

Wondering why this nutritious food made it to the top of our list? It’s true. Beets are one of the most nutritious and healthy vegetables to have as a part of your diet. Research has shown that nitric oxide in beets is a good way to give your exercise regimen a boost. It can also help in reducing your blood pressure levels.

But the same compounds that promote your well-being can do the opposite. If you reheat foods, such as beets which are high in nitrates, they get converted into nitrites and these will convert into nitrosamines.

Some nitrosamines can be carcinogenic, meaning they can result in cancer. If you tend to eat reheated beets on a regular basis, you might want to stop doing that. It can have a detrimental effect on your health. This is also the case with turnips as well, which are rich in nitrates.

You Might Be Surprised With This One. Heating Breast Milk Can Be A Bad Idea.

Breast milk is the best thing to give to your infants. It has all the nutrients required for a newborn baby. But you should be careful not to reheat the breast milk and then give it to your baby.

Research has shown that babies end up contaminating the bottle, through saliva, when they drink milk. Because of this contamination, reheating the milk would make it a breeding ground for bacteria in the baby’s saliva. It’s wrong to think that reheating or using the microwave for the breast milk would actually kill the bacteria, as the temperature wouldn’t be high enough.

The bacteria can end up causing damage to your baby’s digestive system. It’s best to not reheat the breast milk when you give it to your baby.

You Should Never Reheat Food Containing Cold-Pressed Oils.

There are many examples of cold-pressed oils, including olive oil, canola oil, and flaxseed soil. These are excellent for your health, as they are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. They also have unsaturated fats, which can have a number of health-related benefits.

However, if you have any leftover food items that have these oils, you shouldn’t reheat them as it’s unsafe. They turn rancid and can even be unstable.

This means the leftover salad containing olive oil dressing should never be heated. It’s best eaten fresh. Make a limited amount that you know you’ll eat in one sitting. Certain health risks are just not worth it!

Having Seafood Leftovers Is Probably A Bad Idea. 

Eating fresh seafood is an excellent way to take care of your health. In fact, most people don’t have enough seafood in their diet and lose out on all the nutritional benefits it offers.

But what you certainly shouldn’t do is eat leftover seafood. If there is one thing wrong with seafood, it’s that it can go bad very easily. Eating seafood that has gone bad can cause food poisoning.

Illness-causing bacteria can multiply quickly when they are in warm temperatures. If you leave the seafood out it’s more than likely these bacteria will have made it their breeding ground. Whatever leftover seafood you do have should not be out for more than two hours.

Yes, this means that delicious sushi, smoked salmon, and tuna sandwiches need to be eaten at once. No saving for later. 

Leftover Eggs Are A Big No As Well. 

Eggs are an excellent breakfast option. They are a wonderful source of protein and choline. But remember to always make them fresh. Eggs are the one food you cannot meal prep before. Leftover eggs are a big health hazard. They might have salmonella in them.

Salmonella is a bacteria that can affect your intestinal tract. It can cause fever, stomach cramps, and even  . Most recipes that use eggs require that they be cooked on low heat. The duration for cooking the eggs is usually short. This amount of heat is not enough to kill the salmonella entirely.

So, when you leave the cooked eggs out at room temperature, you’re essentially allowing the bacteria to multiply. If you eat the leftover eggs after about two or three hours, you might end up feeling sick.

As it is, eggs taste better when they are eaten fresh. Even scrambled eggs don’t take long to make, so try to eat them all in one go.

You Cannot Eat Leftover Spinach Either.

Spinach is a popular leafy vegetable because of the many health benefits it provides. There’s a reason Popeye always looked for his can of spinach when he wanted extra strength! But spinach is also packed with nitrates.

If you want to avoid the nitrates in spinach from turning into carcinogenic compounds, you should have it raw. At best, you can lightly sauté it.

It is especially important to note that heating up nitrate-rich foods causes the conversion to nitrites. Research has shown these nitrites are not safe for babies that are not yet six months old. This is vital to know as baby purees usually have spinach mixed in them along with other foods.

Be Careful With Leftover Chicken As Well.

Chicken is ever-present in the diet of most people who eat meat. It can be used in so many delicious ways. Chicken curry, smoked chicken, and chicken fajita bowls- there are several chicken dishes that will make your mouth water. 

But you have to remember one thing. Chicken also has the same issue as eggs.

Raw chicken contains salmonella which can cause intestinal infections. If you cook your chicken at a low temperature and only for a small period of time, you won’t be killing off the bacteria. Leaving the dish at room temperature will give bacteria the opportunity to multiply rapidly.

The interior of the chicken should be 165 degrees. Microwaves won’t be enough to make that happen in one go. You’ll have to keep turning the chicken to make sure the entire dish is evenly heated.

If you do have chicken leftovers, it would be better if you didn’t reheat them. Chicken salad would be a better option.

Buffet Food Is Tempting But Not If You Eat It The Next Day.

When you go to a hotel or a party, they might be serving food in a buffet. One of the disadvantages of this scenario is how the food is kept warm.

While the food is sitting out, the buffet trays are kept only mildly warm. Outside exposure and lukewarm temperatures mean it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Eating food that’s not refrigerated and has been kept out in the open is a great way to make yourself sick.

Do Not Eat Leftover Potatoes.

It might come as a surprise that potatoes also suffer from this issue. Potatoes are used liberally in many recipes. You can boil or fry them, and they still come out tasty.

Granted, potatoes are cooked for a much longer duration than eggs. They are also made at hotter temperatures. But still, if you leave the dish out in the open and at room temperature, it is very likely to get worse.

For instance, bacteria that infect potato dishes that are left out in the open can cause a condition called botulism. This attacks your body’s nerves and causes weakness in your muscles. It can impact various parts of your body such as the legs, neck, and arms.

Potatoes are also one of the foods that you shouldn’t be cooking in a microwave. The heat is not enough to kill any of the bacteria. So whatever potato-based dish you’re making, it’s best to do it on the stovetop.

Eat Freshly Cooked Rice To Avoid Getting Sick.

Rice is a part of most diets around the world. It’s usually cooked either by boiling or frying. But even rice is prone to harbor organisms that can end up being harmful to you.

During the 1970s, there was an outbreak of food poisoning. It was found that rice attracted a microorganism called Bacillus cereus. It was prone to multiplying when left out at room temperature.

So, if you’re planning to have leftover rice-based dishes, make sure you haven’t left them out in the open. You should have it in your fridge. Ideally, the rice should either be hot (over 140°F) or cold (40°F or under) if you don’t plan to eat it within two hours.

Go Easy On Leftover Oily Foods.

Oily foods by themselves are unhealthy. But it’s not always possible to keep your hands off them, as they tend to be tasty.

What you shouldn’t do, is reheat them in a microwave. When you do that, the oil in your food may go past the safe level. Research suggests the fumes that the oil then produces can cause health issues if you eat the food.

Food has a direct impact on your health. There are nutritious health-boosting foods you should be eating daily. On the other hand, there are certain exotic foods with the potential to kill you.

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