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Dubai: It's Ramadan, iftar is over and done, and it's now time for suhoor.

Chances are, you’re more likely to reheat a plate of leftovers than whip up a new dish – but did you know that you are more likely to fall ill if you heat up the wrong food?

 A senior food awareness officer at Dubai Municipality explains that certain foods can cause food poisoning if they are either exposed to too much heat, or not heated high enough.

“Residents should take precautions when preparing all types of food, but some need more than others,” said Shugufta Zubair, from the food safety department of Dubai Municipality.  

According to the UK Food Standards Agency, the secret to making sure you eat safely is in the four Cs: cooking, cleaning, chilling and cross-contamination.

“Anything kept in the fridge between two and four hours is safe to eat, but afterwards, it should be heated only once,” she said.

Zubair also explained that to prevent bacteria from growing, food should be heated at over 63 degrees Celsius, as they become active between five and 60 degrees Celsius.

Top 5 foods that can make you ill if not heated properly:


It contains a high proportion of iron, in the form of nitrates. The healthy nitrates turn into toxic nitrites when reheated, and pose a health risk.


Contains a high amount of protein that may cause indigestion if it has been heated up after a day or more.


Must be eaten on the same day they are prepared and cooked, and should not be reheated up because of the complexity found in its protein-rich composition.


As with mushrooms, potatoes contain moisture and should not be reheated carelessly. If left unrefrigerated, there is a chance for bacteria to grow, which get activated when heated up and can cause food poisoning.  


Should be thoroughly heated at high temperatures, otherwise, bacteria will quickly grow. And remember, do not leave cooked eggs or egg dishes out of the refrigerator for more than two hours.