Rice takes a long time to cool so it requires assistance when in chill mode. To assist, transfer hot rice to a metal container; spread it as shallow as you can. Leave uncovered and place in refrigerator to drop to 41º F or below. If your refrigerator is packed and you have a lot of rice to cool, you might compromise other foods in the fridge by putting in a hot pan of rice so give you refrigerator a boost with a bag of ice near or under the cooling rice.

Just remember whenever you ar cooling a dish, keep it uncovered until the temperature has completely dropped. If not, the next day you will know if you covered too soon as condensation will be visible on the lid or plastic wrap. Once cooled, do cover to preserve it’s moisture.

Just to reinforce this food safety tip, remember that rice grains are stored in silos and can contain dust and dirt. The organism that might be there can grow quickly at room temperatures so if the center of the rice lingers around 70-90 degrees,  this organism grows, creating toxic waste that is not denatured when reheated. Of course the rice looks okay, smells okay and tastes okay. But if cooled improperly it is not okay. The illness that can occur is often thought to be a 24 hour flu, but it is really food borne illness from the toxins created as the micro organism grows. Even when reheated the toxin is still there.


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