Rice cooker may be home to fast-growing bacteria
MANILA -- Filipinos love to turn left-over rice into one of the most enjoyed breakfast recipes called 'sinangag' or fried rice. However, it was found that left-over rice may be contaminated because of the possible bacteria thriving in a rice cooker.
Take Jessica Duraydo, a hands-on mother, as an example. Fried rice is a common dish every morning for her family.
"Pag nagsaing ako, kinabukasan 'di ko na tinatanggal sa rice cooker. Sinasangag ko na lang kasi hindi pa naman panis," she told.
She always cleans the rice cooker by scrubbing it using her kitchen sponge with a detergent bar.
However, Duraydo's kitchen sponge, after being tested under a microscope, was positive of germs and bacteria.
Microbiologist Dr. Windell Rivera has an explanation. "Kapag ang
nailutong rice, iniwan mo overnight at room temperature, sigurado, 'pag kinabukasan, mataas na ang microbial contamination nito," he said.
When you clean the already contaminated rice cooker using your kitchen sponge, bacteria will spread among other kitchen utensils through the sponge.
As Rivera warned, "yung sponge na ginamit mo sa ibang kitchen utensils ay magkakaroon ng cross-contamination."
Bacteria likely found in a rice cooker are staphylococcus and bacillus cereus, which can grow and spread quickly.
Hence, it is important to use a dishwashing liquid with anti-bacterial component. This will lower the chances of bacteria spreading in your kitchen sponge, thus avoiding the risk of cross-contamination.