A student has died after eating leftover pasta that he had prepared for himself five days earlier.
The 20-year-old from Belgium mysteriously died in his sleep after eating leftover spaghetti with tomato sauce, which had been left on his kitchen benchtop for five days.
After becoming violently ill, he went to bed to try and sleep the sickness off, only to be found dead in bed the next morning.
An autopsy later revealed that he’d died suddenly from food poisoning caused by a bacteria called bacillus cereus.
Bacillus cereus is a bacteria commonly found in soil that produces toxins, causing vomiting and diarrhoea.
While the student experienced both of these symptoms, he treated it as a regular bout of food poisoning, hydrating himself with water, and taking no medication.
However, the toxins from the bacteria caused his liver to go into failure, killing him as he slept. His lifeless body was discovered 11 hours later by his parents who became concerned after he failed to attend college.
In a YouTube clip, Dr. Bernard, a licensed provider based in the U.S. confirmed that the spoiled pasta had shut down the student’s liver.
“Typically, food poisoning just causes stomach inflammation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, it doesn’t typically cause acute liver failure, and even worse, we can’t find out which bacteria is causing the problem because culturing it would take days – days [the student] doesn’t have because his liver is quickly shutting down,” Bernard said.
However, Bernard reassures that this man’s death is not a ‘typical’ food poisoning case.
“Although we cannot incriminate B cereus as the direct and unique cause of death, the present case illustrates the severity of the emetic and diarrhoeal syndromes and the importance of adequate refrigeration of prepared food,” he said. “Because the emetic toxin is preformed in food and is not inactivated by heat treatment, it is important to prevent B. cereus growth and its cereulide production during storage.”