We’ve all been there. That fried rice calls to you time and time again, deaf to your pleas to release you from its delicious lure. Before you know it, you wake up in the hospital, suffering from "fried rice syndrome." No, that's not a joke, and yes, it's something you should consider while dining out, especially at buffets.
Germaine Mobley heartily enjoyed her meal at Asian King Buffet, but fell ill the next day with Bacillus cereus. As much as it sounds like a joke, Bacillus cereus is popularly known as “fried rice syndrome,” and is more dangerous than it sounds. Bacillus cereus is a bacteria that forms when food is kept at room temperature.
“Everything tasted fine,” Mobley recalled of the 2016 incident, but she wound up in a hospital the following day as her health started to deteriorate. She started to vomit and her breathing became labored, so she had her husband call an ambulance.
Mobley spent eight days in the ICU, during which she was put on a ventilator. Two years later, having survived her bout of “fried rice syndrome,” Mobley is suing Asian King Buffet for $1 million in damages.
“‘Fried rice syndrome’ sounds like a joke, but it’s very serious,” Mobley’s attorney, Kathryn Knotts, confirmed.
While many patients suffering from Bacillus cereus do recover within 6 to 24 hours, there have been fatalities. In 2003, five children from the same family became sick after eating pasta salad. Of the five, the youngest, a seven-year-old girl, died from liver failure only 13 hours after eating the contaminated salad. Another case emerged in 2008 after a 20-year-old man ate spaghetti and tomato sauce that had been left at room temperature. He died in his sleep overnight.
So, as silly as the headline may seem, yes, Mobley was in serious danger, especially considering she had additional pre-existing health conditions. Asian King Buffet’s owner, however, denies Mobley’s allegations. How they aim to prove it, though, is yet to be seen.
H/T: New York Post