From risks of food poisoning and spreading food-born viruses, to creating carcinogens in the environment, the European Food Information Council has recently revealed the five foods most likely to be harmful to us once reheated in the microwave.
Spinach and Leafy Greens
Some leafy greens contain high levels of nitrates, which can be converted to carcinogenic nitrosamines when heated. For this reason, the Food Information Council advises against reheating spinach, kale, or any other veggies in that family in your microwave. For a safer option, opt for boiling, steaming, or sautéing your leafy greens.
Chicken and Other Poultry
Most cuts of poultry are at risk of carrying salmonella, and have to be cooked and prepared carefully to avoid contamination.The biggest risk with reheating your chicken in the microwave is uneven heat distribution, causing some parts of the protein to be broken down faster than others, potentially upsetting the stomach.
To reduce the risk of food poisoning or stomach discomfort, rotate your chicken frequently to ensure even cooking from the inside and out.
The European Food Information Council says the proteins in mushrooms are easily destroyed by external enzymes and microorganisms, which can lead to an upset stomach if not stored properly.
However, if you keep your mushrooms in the fridge for a maximum of 24 hours, it’s safe to reheat your mushrooms up to the recommended temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Potatoes and Vegetables
Leaving cooked potatoes out in room temperature, especially when wrapped in aluminum foil so oxygen is kept out, can cause bacteria and food-born viruses to grow and spread. Heating your food in the microwave won’t kill these bugs, which can lead to food poisoning and general stomach discomfort.
To play it safe, allow your potatoes to cool completely before storing them in the refrigerator.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.