Rice Food Safety, questions about freezing cooked rice.

I posted this photo on Facebook the other night and I was quite surprised by how many of you were concerned about food poisoning from rice.  While I responded to most questions I couldn’t reply to everyone so I thought I would put it all here so we have a reference and everyone can feel a little safer about eating rice the next day and freezing it after cooking.

Freezing cooked rice

First of all, any cooked or uncooked food that is left in the temperature danger zone of between 5 degree Celsius and 60 degree Celsius becomes the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, not just rice.

See these diagrams below:

 

Keep cold food cold and hot food hot is the main thing to remember.

Rice that has been cooked and then placed straight into the fridge and kept below 5 degree Celsius is perfectly fine to eat for up to 3 days. When reheating make sure it is heated until steaming hot or above 60 degree Celsius.

Rice that has been cooked then placed straight into the freezer and kept below -18 degree Celsius will be fine to eat after being in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Remember to defrost in the fridge (not on the bench) and then reheat in the microwave until it is steaming hot – above 60 degree Celsius.

Maintaining all foods that are highly suseptable to bacterial food spoilage within these parameters will ensure that we keep our family safe and also ensure that we can enjoy safe leftovers.

If you have any other questions please leave them for me in the comments and I will do my best to answer them, otherwise happy rice freezing.

Looking for some rice recipes? Find them here.

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8 Responses to Rice Food Safety, questions about freezing cooked rice.

  1. Sarah April 1, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

    Do you allow to cool before placing in fridge or freezer?

    • Amanda April 2, 2016 at 9:04 am #

      Hi Sarah, I only allow it to cool for 30 minutes max to take the steam off it and then it is either placed in the fridge in a container with the lid open a little to let any steam out or placed straight into the freezer

  2. Romeena April 2, 2016 at 6:20 am #

    Quick question do you cool the rice down before putting it in the fridge/freezer? I was told that’s what I needed to do otherwise it would spoil????

    • Amanda April 2, 2016 at 9:04 am #

      Hi Romeena, it only allow it to cool for 30 minutes max to take the steam off it and then it is either placed in the fridge in a container with the lid open a little to let any steam out or placed straight into the freezer.

  3. Kerbu April 3, 2016 at 4:41 am #

    Hi. I have been having a debate with my mum and can’t seem to find any evidence to support my side hope you can help! My mum will happily leave cooked meat dishes like bolanase sauce, chicken curry etc out on the work surface in a warm (central heated house) over night and then eat it the next day. She heats it to boiling and says that this is safe as it is heated through. She always quotes the old days before fridges! I feel uncomfortable about feeding this to my kids so always cook them something different. I am happy to eat left overs heated up if it has been in the fridge overnight but not when it’s left out. I can not seem to find anything to convice my mum to refrigerate their meat every time. Can you give me any good explanations please!

    • Amanda April 4, 2016 at 9:27 am #

      Hi Kerbu as mentioned above any food that is left in the danger zone is at risk of spoiling and causing someone to get food poisoning. I noticed your email addresses ended in uk so I am guessing you are not from Australia. Here is the food safety info about the danger zone for your country:

      What is the Danger Zone?

      As the name suggests, the danger zone refers to the most dangerous temperature for foods, between 40°F and 140°F. This range of temperature is dangerous because it’s below the temperature at which heat destroys bacteria (above 160°F), yet above the cooling range (below 40°F) where the growth of bacteria is slowed.
      Why So Dangerous?

      A single bacterium can multiply to trillions in just twenty-four hours when between 40°F and 140°F. This is because bacteria double approximately every twenty minutes under the right conditions: food, moisture, oxygen and warm temperature. Many foods, with their rich supply of nutrients and moist quality, offer the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. You don’t want to spur this bacteria growth by providing a warm temperature as well.

      Source: http://www.eatright.org/resource/homefoodsafety/safety-tips/food-poisoning/the-danger-zone

  4. Tanya May 10, 2016 at 9:42 pm #

    Hi Amanda, I was wondering about cooking fried rice for my three children. I am a bit worried about them eating rice the next day…can you help please….

    • Amanda May 17, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

      Hi Tanya. As long as the rice is handled correctly (kept either hot or cold, not left out on the bench etc) cooked rice is perfectly fine to eat for up to three days after cooking. Make sure when you reheat it the next day it is heated really hot (the safe food temp shown above). Once you reheat again you can’t keep that rice, it will need to be discarded.

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