In a case that was highlighted by Dr. Bernard on YouTube, a poorly hygienic student ended up dying in sleep after eating noodles at 5 days of age.
Unnamed in the case reports, the 20-year-old student used to prepare his meals for the week on a Sunday in an attempt to save time and money. It would boil noodles and then put it in Tupperware containers to be eaten during the week after adding a sauce and reheating, according to Dr. Bernard.
The student from Belgium reheated the spaghetti that had been prepared five days earlier and left the kitchen at room temperature, according to a case study in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. He attributed the strange taste to the new tomato sauce he put in his spaghetti, ate it all and went out to play sports.
Within 30 minutes of eating the dough, he was experiencing intense abdominal pain, nausea and headache. After returning home, he immediately had intense episodes of watery diarrhea and vomited profusely but did not seek medical attention and preferred to stay at home, drink water and try to sleep.
The next morning, his parents became worried when he did not get out of bed for college. When they came in to check it out at 11am, he was already dead.
Dr. Bernard's report is loosely based on some cases of this type of food poisoning.
Examination of his body revealed that he had died at 4 am, about 10 hours after eating the spaghetti. His body was autopsied while samples of his pasta and pasta sauce were sent to the National Reference Laboratory for Outbreaks of Food Origin (NRLFO) for analysis.
The autopsy revealed hepatic necrosis, indicating that the liver had been switched off, as well as possible signs of acute pancreatitis. Faecal swabs revealed the presence of Bacillus cereus, a bacteria responsible for "fried rice syndrome", food poisoning commonly caused by leaving fried rice dishes at room temperature for several hours.
The sample of his meal sent to the NRLFO contained significant amounts of Bacillus cereus, Confirmation of the noodle meal was the cause of his illness, leading to his eventual death only a few hours later.
A timeline of Bacillus cereus growing, as if you had not already given up on your lunch.
Bacillus cereus poisoning is surprisingly common. In 2003, a family became seriously ill Bacillus cereus– associated food poisoning after eating pasta salad with 8 days old during a picnic.
All five children required medical intervention and needed intensive care, while the youngest girl, who was 7 years old, died after the liver failed.