Seeds and Food Poisoning

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Seeds are generally dry, with only about 10% of their weight coming from water. As a result, they keep well without special treatment; and because we prepare them by thoroughly boiling or roasting them, freshly cooked grains, beans, and nuts generally don’t carry bacteria that cause food poisoning. However, moist grain and bean dishes become very hospitable to bacteria as they cool down. Leftovers should be refrigerated promptly and reheated to the boil before serving. Rice dishes are particularly vulnerable to contamination by Bacillus cereus and require special care.