If you’re someone who reaches for the leftovers with not a thought, these danger dishes might give you a shock.

Leftovers are something that many of us have a love-hate relationship with. We hate that it doesn’t taste as good as when it was freshly made, but we love the fact that it only takes a couple of minutes in the microwave to make it ready for consumption.

Modern cooking is often about the microwave, as we heat up leftovers, batches cooked up earlier and more.

But did you know that dinner might not be the only thing you’re preparing, as food poisoning could be on the menu, too?

Here are 9 foods you should take care to avoid reheating unless you want to book a day away from work – and in the bathroom instead.

Celery, Spinach, and Beets:

Heat can cause the nitrates of these veggies to turn toxic—and release carcinogenic properties—when they’re heated up a second time. So it’s best to take these foods go out of whatever dish you’re reheating.


In general, mushrooms, should be eaten and finished right after preparation. Proteins can deteriorate as soon as you cut them up, and that’s bad news for your belly.


Reheating this protein powerhouse when it’s boiled or scrambled can be toxic, and can wreak havoc in your digestive system.


Potatoes are tricky—if they’re left to cool down at room temperature instead of immediately refrigerating, the warm temperatures can promote the growth of botulism, a rare bacteria. Botulism can’t be killed with a quick zap in the microwave, so it’s best to refrigerate them immediately to avoid any problems with reheating.


Again, how you store it before heating can lead to problems. According to the Food Standards Agency, “Uncooked rice can contain spores of bacteria that can cause food poisoning. When the rice is cooked, the spores can survive…Then, if the rice is left standing at room temperature, the spores will multiply and may produce poisons that cause vomiting or diarrhoea. Reheating the rice won’t get rid of these poisons.”


The protein composition in the common dinner staple actually changes when cold, refrigerated chicken is heated for the second time. This can actually cause digestive troubles, so if you’d prefer to reheat your meat, make sure that it’s thoroughly cooked; the inside should be piping hot!

Vegetable Oil:

Reheating meals made with vegetable oil for leftovers may put you at risk of heart disease, stroke, and even cancer. New research has found that repeatedly heating up polyunsaturated oils that have a linoleic acid like canola, corn, soybean and sunflower oils, may release a toxic compound that can cause a variety of health disorders.

Although the above-mentioned foods should never be reheated, this doesn’t mean that you can’t reheat other leftovers.

In order to safely reheat foods, keep these following tips in mind:

  • Reheating should be done quickly to bring the temperature up to 150° F in the center of the food.
  • Reheat only the amount that you’re going to eat.
  • Cooked foods should not come into contact with raw foods to avoid cross contamination.
  • Remember that all ingredients are different and may not reheat the same. When reheating more than one type of food, cover them so that they’ll warm evenly.
  • If you don’t think you’ll be able to eat the food within 4 days, it’s better to freeze it.