Bacillus cereus (B. cereus) is a type of bacteria that can cause food poisoning. It is found in soil and food and can survive in cooked food. B. cereus food poisoning can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), pasta is often associated with B. cereus food poisoning, primarily because pasta is frequently cooked in large batches and stored at room temperature for several hours before being served. This gives B. cereus spores a chance to germinate and grow.
To ensure the safety of reheated food, make sure that every portion of the food reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. By doing so, you can significantly reduce the risk of harmful bacteria and prevent foodborne illnesses. However, it’s important to note that this may not eradicate some toxins. In particular, the endospores of the B. cereus bacterium can be especially tough to eliminate, even with high temperatures. The USDA recommends that you refrigerate cooked food as soon as possible to prevent any contamination. Avoid leaving pasta or other cooked food items outside at room temperature for more than two hours. And, if you’re ever unsure about the safety of a particular food item, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and dispose of it to avoid any risk of contamination.