Student Dies After Eating 5-Day-Old Spaghetti
Have you ever left food out overnight? Maybe you didn’t know that it was left out. Maybe you assumed somebody else properly put in back in the refrigerator. Maybe you had far too many Woodford Reserves and didn’t even realize that you had made beef stroganoff only two hours ago and it sat on the stove all night. If you have done any of these and then still eaten the food, you shouldn’t and this horrifying story about a student dying from five-day-old spaghetti should put you on notice.
A shocking case from 2008 was unearthed last week where an unnamed 20-year-old student died from consuming leftover spaghetti. The Chubby Emu YouTube channel is an account by Dr. Bernard, who is a licensed doctor who studies and breaks down bizarre medical cases. In a recent episode, Dr. Bernard explained how and why the student died from eating old pasta and included a dramatized reenactment of the sad situation.
The death was originally featured in the U.S. Journal of Clinical Microbiology in 2011. According to the report, the 20-year-old student from Belgium prepared a weeks worth of pasta and sauce on a Sunday. He placed the spaghetti into individual Tupperware containers for the week.
During the week the student, only known as “AJ,” left his pasta and sauce out for two days. AJ’s roommate thought the spaghetti was only out for an hour or two so he placed it back in the fridge. Five days after making the spaghetti, AJ reheated the pasta and ate it, thinking the food was refrigerated ever since he prepared it on Sunday.
The pasta smelled weird, but AJ thought it was because he was using a new sauce. Immediately after finishing his bowl of pasta, AJ started suffering from intense stomach pains and flatulence. AJ then started puking up the spaghetti and he had diarrhea. At 3 a.m. AJ woke up in a cold sweat and ran to the bathroom to vomit even more.
The next morning at 11:00 a.m., AJ’s parents became suspicious when they didn’t hear from him. They went to his house and that’s where they found AJ dead. The coroner determined that AJ had died at 4 a.m., about 10 hours after he ate the toxic spaghetti. AJ’s autopsy revealed that his cause of death was liver necrosis, meaning his liver had shut down. There was also signs of acute pancreatitis.
Fecal swabs found bacteria that often causes “fried rice syndrome,” a food poisoning commonly caused by leaving fried-rice out at room temperature. Samples of the spoiled spaghetti and tomato sauce were contaminated with “significant amounts” of the B.cereus, the common bacteria that causes food poisoning.
“Many people eat pasta, or any other form of noodles, that are leftover for a day or two and they’re fine,” Dr. Bernard said in the video. “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.”
Here is the video from Dr. Bernard, but keep in mind that the reenactment is of AJ’s case as well as other cases of people dying from toxic food poisoning. Also remember to not leave food out for hours and if it smells bad immediately throw it away.