Eating pasta or rice after several days can be fatal, according to a study

When taking an anti-waste approach, it is common not to want to throw anything away. However, if we don’t eat meat for two or three days, there are foods that we still believe are edible and that is a mistake. These foods that we all eat several times a week are pasta and rice.

A scientific study published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology shows that a bacterium, Bacillus cereus, grows very easily in this type of food. And that this germ, once ingested, can also develop in the intestine. Rice and pasta aren’t the only foods the bacteria thrive in. Dairy products, dried foods and vegetables are also affected.

The study also shows that in 2005 a family became infected with this bacterium after eating pasta for four days. One of the children died of this noodle poisoning. The pasta salad would have been made on Friday for a picnic the next day. When it was returned, it was kept in the refrigerator for consumption on Monday evening. The same night the children were vomited. One of them died, another suffered from liver failure. The whole family was poisoned by the spoiled noodles.

The researchers explain that this dramatic accident was caused by the bacterium B. cereus. This is often present in organisms and generally does not result in death. But the proof is that it can happen. This was also the case in 2011. A Belgian student died a few days after cooking it after eating spaghetti with tomato sauce. “With around 5 cases per million people per year in France, these infections are relatively rare and generally benign. »Calms the website Agriculture.gouv.fr in a press release.

Bacillus sp bacterial colonies grow on an agar plate. Photo credit: Shutterstock / Kallayanee Naloka

How do I avoid these potentially dangerous poisonings?

The B. cereus bacterium can secrete dangerous toxins in food. And these are not destroyed by the heat of the microwave. According to the researchers, it can withstand a temperature of 121 ° C for 90 minutes. This toxin targets and punctures holes in cells, causing inflammation and cell death. The bacteria have “a growth temperature between 5 and 37 ° C, an optimal pH value between 4.5 and 7 and a certain humidity: these three elements promote their development on the grains”. Futura sciences explained in a 2016 article.

Specifically, the researchers advise to consume pasta and rice the day after cooking, never longer … and to heat them to high temperatures in order not to take any risks … Please note that the risks of this bacterium for your animals are the same … You can Eat leftover food as long as it hasn’t spoiled!

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