Contrary to popular belief, you can reheat food more than once – whether you use a microwave, over the stove, or in the oven. The general rule of thumb is to reheat food until it’s piping hot, ensuring all the bacteria that may have developed is destroyed.
That being said, prevention is always better than cure. In this case, it’s making sure you have good food handling practices. When it comes to storing food – whether it’s been reheated or freshly cooked – it’s important to not let it sit on the bench for too long. The slower you refrigerate your food, the greater the chance that bacteria will develop.
Prime temperature for bacteria growth is between 5-60 degrees Celsius and is particular prevalent in dishes that contain cooked rice, pasta, eggs, meat and other proteins. So, make sure your hot food is hot after reheating, and that you get your leftovers into the refrigerator as soon as possible1.