Why is it not ok to reheat food if the heat kills/denatures the harmful bacteria?


To clarify I mean to reheat the food several times.

In: Biology

SThe bacteria, that cause food poisoning etc, often produce toxins that aren’t affected by heating up/boiling. These toxins can cause illness even after prolonged periods of freezing or in canned foods etc.

It is ok to reheat food. Not sure where you got the idea that it’s not.

It’s not ok to reheat food which has spoiled due to bacteria. This is because even though reheating it correctly will kill the bacteria it won’t get rid of the toxins the bacteria have produced. These toxins are still harmful if you eat the spoiled food.

As a person with two toddlers…. I rarely have the opportunity to eat a meal in one sitting. Especially lunch. I will reheat my food sometimes three or four times in the microwave. After that point I either eat it cold or am no longer interested in eating. The food doesn’t spoil that quickly though.

If the food has sat out for a day and bacteria have started producing toxins, then definitely don’t eat that. The microwave may kill the bacteria, but not what the bacteria have produced.

Restaurants, of course, have stricter rules than what I do in my own kitchen though.

Time in the danger zone is cumulative and is not reversed by reheating or cooling. Plus, as it has been said, toxins from bacteria are not destroyed by cooking. It’s safe to reheat food any number of times, but it has to be done properly and the quality (flavor, texture) is reduced every time.