Student Dies 10 Hours After Eating Pasta That Had Been Left Out For Five Days

A student died 10 hours after eating pasta that had been left out for five days. 
Credit: Alamy

A student died 10 hours after eating pasta that had been left out for five days. 

The 20-year-old, known as AJ, was found dead in his home after eating a portion of pasta that was left on a worktop for five days after being cooked for the first time.

Although the student passed away in 2008, the case has only recently come to light after it was featured in the US Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

YouTuber Dr Bernard later reviewed it to dissect the issues of eating reheated food.

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Within 30 minutes of eating the portion of pasta, AJ reportedly experienced intense abdominal pain, nausea and a headache.

After returning home, the student immediately had intense episodes of watery diarrhoea and was vomiting profusely.

Unfortunately, he did not seek medical attention.

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Instead, the 20-year-old stayed in his house, drank water and attempted to sleep it off.

AJ would often boil pasta and put it into Tupperware containers to be eaten during the week – after adding sauce and reheating it to help with meal preparation.

According to reports, the student used to prepare his meals for the week on a Sunday in an attempt to save time and money.

Examination of AJ’s body sadly revealed that he had passed away at 4am, roughly 10 hours after he ate the spaghetti pasta meal.

Dr Bernard
A student died 10 hours after eating pasta that had been left out for five days – and YouTuber Dr Bernard has shed light on why. Credit: Heme Review via YouTube

The student’s body was autopsied whilst samples of his pasta and sauce meal were sent off to the National Reference Laboratory for Food-borne Outbreaks (NRLFO) for analysis.

The sample of his pasta meal that was sent to the NRLFO reportedly contained significant amounts of Bacillus cereus, which matched the results from AJ’s faecal swabs.

Bacillus cereus is a gram-positive bacterium that can cause foodborne illness in humans, often associated with contaminated food and food preparation.

The autopsy results after AJ’s death revealed liver necrosis, indicating his liver had shut down, as well as possible signs of acute pancreatitis.

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Bacillus cereus is also the bacteria responsible for ‘fried rice syndrome’, which is food poisoning caused by leaving fried rice dishes sitting at room temperature for several hours.

Discussing the tragedy with his followers, Dr Bernard warned: “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.”

He added: “If the food smells funny, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.”

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Written by Ryan Wilks

Ryan is a former content editor at IGV who specialises in celebrity and entertainment news. He has a degree in Magazine Journalism and Production from the University of Gloucestershire. He previously worked as a social media editor for Reach PLC’s national brands including Daily Star, Daily Express, OK! and The Mirror.