Potentially Hazardous Foods (PHF) cause an increased risk for food borne illness. Rice, classified as a PHF, allows pathogenic bacteria to grow because of its moist environment. Control the temperature of rice, avoiding temperatures between 41 degrees and 140 degrees F, to prevent bacterial growth when serving it at a potluck. Use methods that keep the rice at the appropriate temperature.

Prepare your rice beforehand either on the stove in a pan or in a rice cooker.

Switch the warm setting on your rice cooker to "On" if preparing your rice using this method.

Spoon rice from the pan, if using the stove-top method of cooking, into a crock pot set on "warm" or "low."

Add an extra 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to the rice when using the crock pot method. Crock pots tend to dry out food. Keep the lid on the crockpot at all times -- except when serving -- to hold moisture in. When serving, replace the lid promptly after removing rice from the crock pot. Check the moisture level every half-hour, and add water if the rice starts to dry out. Mix the water in with a spoon.


When transporting your rice cooker or crock pot, wrap it in foil or a heavy blanket to retain warmth. Plug it in immediately once arriving at the potluck.


Throw rice away if you are unable to keep it at the appropriate temperature for longer than two hours.