Health Tip of the Week, sponsored by Baton Rouge General: Could your rice habits be hurting you?

It turns out that rice is particularly susceptible to bacteria growth. Uncooked rice typically contains spores of Bacillus cereus, a bacterium that can cause food poisoning, and that can be dangerous for those with a weakened immune system. This is a common enough occurrence that it’s been coined “fried rice syndrome.” Once rice is cooked, some of these spores hang around. Bacteria can grow rapidly in temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees, so if the rice is left sitting on the stove or countertop for more than two hours, those spores will grow, producing a toxin that could make you sick with vomiting and diarrhea. Learn more about the bacteria in rice.