7 Surprising Foods You Should Never Reheat the Next Day

These leftovers are definitely not next-day lunch material.
FreshSplash via Getty Images

In a cost-of-livvy crisis, leftovers seem like the perfect remedy to sad lunch-break sandwich shop lunches that seem to cost more than we’re taking home in pay every day.

Yup, leftover (or the health conscious among us might like to call them ‘meal prepped’) dishes can be a deliciously simple and easy way to keep costs low and our tummies full throughout the week.

However, while some dishes are safe to be reheated, others can turn into potential health hazards.

Food researchers at Menu Price have shared a list of the eight surprising foods that you should probably not reheat the next day.


First up, our favourite fluffy meal companion — good old rice. It might be a staple as a must-have starch for mealtimes, but unfortunately, reheating cooked rice can lead to harmful bacteria invading your dishes.

“When the rice is reheated, the bacteria can produce toxins that may cause food poisoning, or general stomach upsets,” says one of the Menu Price researchers.

How to avoid this? “It’s recommended that you consume your rice dishes immediately after cooking them, or refrigerate (once cool) and consume within 24 hours,” say the experts.


Come on, who doesn’t love a potato? From chips to crisps to baked potatoes, they’re super versatile and we love them in all of the delicious shapes and sizes they come in. But they can become a health hazard if they aren’t reheated properly. Eek!

“When cooked and left at room temperature, potatoes can provide a suitable environment for toxins known as clostridium botulinum,” say the experts. These toxins can attack your nervous system, sometimes even causing nerve damage and paralysis.

But fear not. To avoid this, store them in the fridge within two hours of cooking them, and avoid reheating potatoes in low-oxygen environments, like wrapped in foil.


Eggs might be a breakfast favourite, but there are many cautionary tales already out there about the dangers of undercooked eggs, which can contain illness-causing bacteria like salmonella.

“If you’ve got eggs leftover it’s best to consume them cold or repurpose them in cold dishes like salads or cold pasta dishes,” suggest the experts.


Mushrooms are very susceptible to changes from microorganisms, meaning that reheating them could wreak havoc on stomachs. “Once you’ve cooked them, it’s best to consume them straight away,” say the nutrition researchers.


Other than causing bad blood between you and your co-workers when you reheat it in the staff microwave, seafood is also one of the biggest contenders for food poisoning.

The experts recommend eating all of your delicious seafood meals in one sitting. If there are any leftovers, you’ll want to add them to dishes cold.


Several oils out there will go rancid if they are reheated, with avocado, walnut and grape seed oils to name a few.

If recooked, some oils will release harmful substances, so it’s best to use as much as you’ll need to reduce fat and for ultimately healthier meals.


Turnips are a great addition to any root veggie mix but also do wonders for your health. Because of turnips’ natural high water content, reheating this vegetable could expose you to food poisoning.

Like leafy green vegetables, turnips contain nitrates, which when reheated can activate harmful chemical reactions. “If you’re a turnip lover, it’s best to consume them the day they’re cooked,” the experts recommend.

How to make sure you’ve got a safe packed lunch

According to food safety experts, you should always store leftovers in airtight containers and refrigerate them promptly as soon as they are cool enough.

When you’re reheating, use proper cooking techniques to eliminate harmful bacteria and avoid excessive heating that can alter the taste and texture of the food.