Many people have been living in the dark in regards to cooked rice. Australians believe that it is safe to leave cooked rice out and unrefrigerated. How wrong we all were…
Last month during Australia’s National Food Safety Week, Newspoll conducted a survey where they asked 1,252 people aged 18 years and over about this issue. From their research, 22% believed it was ok to leave cooked rice outside and unrefrigerated for up to 6 hours or even overnight. Some even believe it’s not important to refrigerate the rice at all.
Uncooked rice contains the spores of the bacteria Bacillus and it can survive the cooking process. By cooling the cooked rice, the bacteria can grow and develop a heat resistant toxin.
Though many people from the survey were aware of the high risk nature of raw egg mayonnaise and chicken dishes, they were left in the dark about exposing rice. Though only 4% thought it would be ok to leave products unrefrigerated r overnight, this 4% of consumers taking this risky behaviour adds to the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year.
What now, cooked rice?
Obviously, the first step is to NOT leave cooked rice out! Though it may seem like the obvious step to take, it is clear that not everyone does it! Once you have had your fill, put the leftover rice in an airlock container and put it into the fridge. As most know, the best fried rice is made with day old cooked rice. In those times, remember to put the rice back into the fridge!
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