20-Year-Old Dies after Leaving Food Out

(LibertySons.org) – According to a 2019 article from Frontiers in Microbiology, Bacillus cereus (B. cereus) causes about 63,400 food poisoning cases per year in the United States. However, the number of people affected by the bacteria could be much higher, considering most symptoms are mild and resolve on their own. Sadly, that’s not always the case. In fact, a recent instance cost a young man his life.

On October 23rd, The Sun reported that a 20-year-old college student died from the bacteria, often referred to as Fried Rice Syndrome. The sickness gained that name because the B. cereus growth is caused by leaving rice or pasta out on the counter too long before refrigeration. When the dish is reheated and consumed, the bacteria makes the consumer sick. In this case, the news outlet said the student’s cause of death was liver necrosis.

According to reports, the young man left his dinner out for several days at room temperature, giving B. cereus the perfect environment to thrive. He apparently died only a few hours after eating the reheated dish. The emergency medical doctor, Dr. Joe, said people shouldn’t “eat pasta or rice…left at room temperature, unrefrigerated” for two hours or more. The longer it sits on the counter, the better chance of bacterial growth.

FoodSafety.gov states that the source of Fried Rice Syndrome can come from a variety of prepared foods that sit out too long at room temperature. To prevent a bacterial issue, experts suggest storing cooked foods in a wide, shallow container in the fridge as soon as possible. If they sit out, be sure to keep hot foods above 140 degrees F and cold foods under 40 degrees until it’s time to store them.

If you experience nausea, vomiting, cramps, or diarrhea, drink fluids and rest. For more serious instances, if symptoms don’t subside or if you suspect B. cereus poisoning, seek immediate medical attention.

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