A 20-year-old man was found dead eating a bowl of pasta that he had left in the kitchen for five days.
AJ, a student from Belgium, reportedly cooked the dish five days earlier but left it in the kitchen at room temperature.
When he returned, he reheated the spaghetti dish before going out to play sports but he fell ill shortly afterward.
AJ complained of stomach pains, nausea and a headache and became seriously ill.
When his parents checked on him the next day, they found him dead. Legal examination determined that he died at around 4 am, around ten hours after he ate the pasta.
An autopsy also revealed that he had suspected food poisoning caused by Bacillus cereus bacteria.
“The spaghetti had been kept at room temperature for several days. This allowed Bacillus cereus to grow to very high concentrations and produced the high toxin concentration (14.8 μg/g) found in the pasta and which is likely responsible for the fatal outcome,” the report read.
AJ’s death has resurfaced recently on social media after videos about ‘fried rice syndrome’ went viral.
Fried rice syndrome refers to food poisoning caused by consuming reheated foods that have not been stored properly.
Uncooked food containing Bacillus cereus spores can survive even when it is cooked. They can grow into bacteria and multiply if left at room temperature.
Toxins in the food usually cause the person to fall ill between one and six hours later, with the usual symptoms being diarrhea and vomiting.
Pasta, potatoes and rice, as well as fish, sauces, dairy and meat, can cause food poisoning. The possibility of bacteria multiplying in the dish increases the longer the cooked meal is left at room temperature.
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