Can you eat rice without reheating?

In this brief article, we will answer the question,”Can you eat rice without heating?” We will explain what Bacillus cereus is and the symptoms of its food poisoning. We will as well discuss how to serve and store cooked rice properly. We will briefly discuss some ways of eating cold rice.

Can you eat rice without reheating?

Yes, you can eat rice without reheating BUT you have to make sure that it has been stored properly otherwise you risk having food poisoning. Uncooked rice can sometimes contain spores from a bacteria known as Bacillus cereus. 

The toxins produced by the bacteria are heat stable to an extent of resisting heat at 126°C for 90 minutes. So, even if the rice is reheated the toxin will not be destroyed and will result in food poisoning.

What is Bacillus cereus?

Bacillus cereus is a gram positive, facultative anaerobic bacteria which has rod shaped cells and can produce heat resistant toxins. B. cereus grows considerably well  in temperature ranges 39ºF (4ºC) to 118ºF (48ºC). It grows optimally within a temperature range of 82ºF (28ºC) to 95ºF (35ºC) and a pH range of 4.9 to 9.3 

Bacillus cereus can be found in vegetation, soil and in the intestinal tracts of mammals and even insects. There are usually 2 types of Bacillus cereus that cause food poisoning; One type causes diarrhea (diarrhoeal-type) this is as a result of the emetic toxin, and the other type causes vomiting (vomiting-type) as a result of the enterotoxin.

What are the symptoms of Bacillus cereus food poisoning?

The symptoms caused by the emetic toxin producing Bacillus cereus are:

  • Vomiting which can result in dehydration
  • Nausea
  • At times it can result in diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

Symptoms usually within 5 hours after ingestion of contaminated food and can disappear in 6 to 24 hours.

The symptoms associated with the enterotoxin bacteria are:

  • Diarrhea, which can have traces of blood or mucus
  • Nausea,
  • Abdominal pain

Symptoms usually start 8 to 16 hours after ingestion of contaminated food and can disappear in about 12 to 24 hours.

How do you serve rice safely?

In order to ensure that you minimize the risk of food poisoning, ensure that you follow the below guidelines when serving rice:

  • Ensure that you serve rice as soon as it has been cooked.
  • If that is not an option, ensure you cool the riceas fast as possible ideally with an hour
  • Do not refrigerate rice for more than a day until reheating
  • When reheat rice, ensure that it is evenly heated and its steaming all through
  • Never reheat rice more than one time.

How do you properly store leftover rice?

Properly refrigerating leftover rice ensures that you prevent any spores from germinating and toxins that can result in food poisoning from being produced. To properly refrigerate ensure that:

  • You place the leftovers in airtight containers. Make sure that the refrigerator is not crowded with other food items and do not over-stack so that there is good flow of air around the containers and rapid cooling occurs.Leftover rice should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If so, it’s best to throw it away.
  • Make  sure to refrigerate the rice at temperatures which are below 41ºF (5ºC) to prevent the formation of spores.

You can keep your rice refrigerated for up to 3–4 days

What are some ways to eat cold rice?

You can enjoy cold rice in a number of ways, you just need to ensure that it has been properly stored as highlighted above. Some of the ways are:

As a salad

Cold rice is ideal for salads. You can mix some tuna into your cold rice and add into it some well diced onions, mix with broccoli, some sweetcorn and tomatoes. For reasoning, you can add some salt, pepper and some fresh lemon juice.

Fried rice

This is a no brainer, you can quickly cook up some fried rice by mixing the cold and cooked rice into a pot with a little oil and your favorite veggies or a whisked egg and stir fry until the rice is fully heated throughout.


You can prepare a sumptuous and  satisfying lunch by mixing up cold rice with some protein of your choice, salad and making  it into a tortilla wrap. For some more spicy flavor you can add some chili sauce or any dressing of your choice and throw it on the fridge awaiting lunch

Other FAQs about Rice that you may be interested in.

Can you eat rice without a gallbladder?

Can you eat packet rice without heating?

How much are 200 grams of rice when converted to cups?



In this brief article, we have answered the question,”Can you eat rice without heating?” We have explained what the bacteria Bacillus cereus is and the symptoms of its food poisoning. We have as well discussed how to serve and store cooked rice properly. We have lastly briefly discussed some ways of eating cold rice.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.