How to Cook Rice Properly to Prevent Food Poisoning

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Cook Rice Properly to Prevent Food Poisoning
Cook Rice Properly to Prevent Food Poisoning

Rice is a clean, relatively safe food. A small amount of Bacillus Cereus, a bacteria that potentially causes food poisoning, is found in uncooked rice and is not killed by cooking. It will have no effect at all if the rice is kept hot, held for less than 2 hours, or cooled down quickly for storage. It's when the rice is held at room temperature for a long time that the spores grow and cause unpleasant symptoms of food poisoning. Prevent food poisoning by cooking and storing rice properly.If you are using American-grown rice, there is no need to rinse the rice before proceeding with any of the following methods: on the stove top, in the microwave oven, in an electric rice steamer or in the oven. All techniques are for 4 servings.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups water, chicken broth, vegetable broth or beef broth
  • 1 tsp. butter (optional)
  • Saucepan with cover
  • Microwave safe container with cover
  • Electric rice steamer or
  • Covered ovenproof dish

Prepare rice on the stove top. Bring your liquid of choice, rice, salt and butter to a boil in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer according to time specified on rice package (times will vary according to type and quantity of rice). If rice is not yet tender after the instructed cook time, replace the lid and cook a little longer. Add more liquid if rice is not tender and all liquid is absorbed. When tender, stir gently with a fork and serve hot.

Cook rice in the oven. Combine the rice, salt and butter in a 2- to 3-quart ovenproof pan with a lid. Bring water to a boil In a separate pan on stove top or in the microwave oven and pour over other ingredients. Stir, cover tightly and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes for long grain white rice, 30 to 40 minutes for "converted" rice and 1 hour for brown rice. Add more liquid if rice is not tender but all liquid is absorbed after the correct cook time. When tender, stir gently with a fork. and serve hot.

Use a microwave oven to cook rice properly and prevent food poisoning. Combine rice, liquid, salt and butter (if desired) in a 2- to 3-quart microwave-safe baking dish. Cover tightly with microwave-quality plastic wrap or lid designed for microwave cooking. For medium or long-grain white rice, microwave on high for 5 minutes or until liquid boils. Reduce setting to medium, or 50 percent power, and continue cooking for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from oven with insulated oven mitts and taking off plastic covering.For converted rice, microwave the ingredients on high for 5 minutes or until liquid boils. Reduce to medium power and microwave for 20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Again, let stand 5 minutes before removing from oven and taking off plastic covering. For whole-grain brown rice, microwave on high for 5 minutes and then reduce to medium power. Microwave 20 minutes more or until water is absorbed. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from oven and taking off plastic covering. For all types of rice, add more liquid if rice is not tender and all liquid is absorbed. When tender, stir gently with a fork and serve hot.

Try a rice cooker. Rice cookers automatically cook the rice until it is tender, then reduce the heat and hold the rice at a safe temperature. Spray or wipe the cooking surface well with vegetable oil. Add water, rice, salt and butter. When automatic timer goes off, check the rice. Add more liquid if rice is not tender and all liquid is absorbed; otherwise, stir gently with a fork and serve hot.

Tips & Warnings

  • Store leftover rice in shallow containers in your refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
  • Freeze rice in shallow containers for up to 1 month.
  • Reheat until rice is very hot all the way through, adding water or other liquid as needed.
  • Do not reheat rice more than once.
  • When removing the lid or plastic wrap from pot, microwave-safe dish, rice cooker or ovenproof dish, be very careful to avoid burns from steam. Lift edge of cover away from you first, allowing steam to release.
  • Microwave ovens vary in wattage, so the suggested times are only guidelines.

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