Leftover Food That is Bad For You

In Part 2, there are some of the foods and ingredients that you may want to toss out instead of keeping.
Text by Corina Tan
throw away leftover

Getty Images

As a general guideline, here are some leftover foods and ingredients that you may want to toss out instead of keeping. Now, you can start to clear your refrigerator and throw away leftovers.


Unpasteurised normal everyday eggs almost always contain salmonella. Especially when they are not cooked through. Or cooked using a method that results in a runny yoke, this doesn’t kill bacteria. Leaving eggs at room temperature for any length of time is a recipe for bacteria to multiply to harmful levels. Eggs taste better fresh anyway, so they are probably not the type of food you want to save for later.


Even though you need to cook potatoes for a really long time to make them edible. They can still pose a risk when they have cooled down and left to sit at room temperature for too long. This habit can potentially foster the growth of Clostridium botulinum. Potatoes are also not the kind of food you want to reheat in the microwave. It does not kill the bacteria that causes havoc to your gastrointestinal system.


People underestimate the dangers of rice, always presuming that their digestive upset came from other sources. In fact, rice harbours a bacteria known as Bacillus cereus which multiplies at room temperature. Rice that isn’t eaten within two hours of being cooked should be immediately refrigerated or throw away the leftovers. The temperature of rice should be either hot or cold and never left out to sit at room temperature.

throw away leftovers


Just like eggs, chicken meat tends to contain salmonella. Microwaves are unable to reheat chicken evenly and to the bone, so if you have a large piece of drumstick or wing to reheat, chances are it won’t heat up evenly. Chicken shouldn’t be reheated more than once, so this is another food choice that you may really want to eat fresh instead.

Cold pressed oils

Are you using olive oil, canola oil, and other seed oils for cooking? The omega 3 fats and other unsaturated fats are extremely sensitive to temperature, so heating and reheating food that is cooked with these oils can make them unstable and turn rancid.

Oily food

Reheating oily food may cause oil to smoke past its safe level and produce hazardous fumes. You can try to reheat them in the oven at a low temperature or not at all.

throw away leftovers


This is probably one of the easiest types of food to get sick from, as seafood is often not cooked for long periods of time, and they may contain traces of bacteria if not cleaned properly. Even if we are supposing that contamination did not come from preparation, seafood often gets bad very easily even at room temperatures of between 4 – 60 degrees Celsius. Seafood in places above 32 degrees Celsius shouldn’t be left outside for more than an hour at the most, and quickly refrigerated after. This is a really short window time frame and therefore is quite impossible to meet, which is always why seafood should be cooked last of all, especially if you are expecting guests.

Buffet food

Everybody loves the sight and smell of a variety of food laid out for all to choose from, but there are so many things that can go wrong at a buffet table. First of all, buffet food is cooked many hours earlier to ensure everything is ready on time. Secondly, from the time they are dished out and presented, a certain amount of time has surely passed. Since the process is beyond our control, we are unable to ascertain if it is within the safety limit of two hours after it is cooked. More often than not, buffet food has been sitting out much longer than that, posing a huge threat to food safety. With many people passing by, food contamination risks get higher as well. Finally, food trays are not kept warm enough to kill microbes, which can grow to unhealthy amounts. The same applies to intimate gatherings and at-home parties. Therefore, throw away all leftovers that you’ve brought back from buffet dinner.

Last but not least, there are some unique and tasty recipes to produce a good meal of the day. Check out here.


Organic Food, Health and the Environment

Plant-based meat company Green Rebel makes a mean beefless rendang

Phuture – A Plant Based Company Offering Alternative Food Solutions

, , ,

Type keyword(s) and press Enter