Student, 20, dies in his sleep after eating pasta that had been left out in the kitchen for five days
A 20-year-old student died after eating a bowl of pasta that he had left out in his kitchen for at least five days, according to reports. The student, identified only as AJ, from Brussels, Belgium, fell sick after consuming the leftover spaghetti, which was made five days earlier and was stored at room temperature. The incident occurred in October 2008.
He reportedly became severely ill and went to bed to try and sleep it off. The next morning his parents were shocked to find him dead in his bed. The incident unfolded when he came home from school and reportedly warmed the spaghetti in the microwave oven and ate it before heading out to play sports. He returned home just half an hour later feeling sick. AJ was reportedly suffering from headaches, abdominal pain, and nausea and threw up for several hours before falling asleep around midnight, the Daily Mail reported.
AJ's body was found by his parents after 11 hours who became concerned and decided to check on him when he didn't get up for college. An autopsy later revealed that he died suddenly from food poisoning, which was caused by a bacteria called bacillus cereus. The particular bacteria is a spore-forming one that produces toxins and causes vomiting and diarrhea.
American student, 20, dies in his sleep after eating a simple meal https://t.co/GLbZs2takF via @MailOnline— Bikram_Dr (@bikram_aims) January 28, 2019
Even though AJ experienced these symptoms, he assumed that it was a regular bout of food poisoning and drank a lot of water, without taking any medications. The pasta leftovers were also sent for analysis to the National Reference Laboratory for Food-borne Outbreaks where it was reportedly found that the toxins from the bacteria were so strong that they caused his liver to fail in his sleep and eventually resulted in his death.
The case was originally featured in the US Journal of Clinical Microbiology. The journal explained how the harmful bacteria caused the 20-year-old's liver to shut down.
A licensed practitioner, Dr Bernard, who studies and shares such medical cases found around the world, said: "Many people eat pasta, or any other form of noodles, that are leftover for a day or two and they're fine, but be careful of food left out for more than a few hours. If the food smells funny, it's always better to be safe than sorry."
Multiple people took to social media to share their views about the incident, with many not showing sympathy for the man. "I don't know why anyone would leave perishable food in the kitchen for 5 days and think it's okay to still eat it," one user on Twitter wrote.