Woman sues Chinese restaurant for a million dollars after allegedly suffering 'fried rice syndrome'
If you're in the mood for a takeaway and the usual fare of pizza, burgers or fried chicken simply won't cut it this time, then a really good alternative option is to go for some delicious Chinese food. Filled with different spices and flavours than you're used to without compromising any of the greasy deliciousness we've come to associate with fast food, it's always a delicious option you can take while convincing yourself you're going out and trying new things.
But, if you can be convinced to put on pants and leave the house, Chinese food gets a whole lot better when you consider the all-you-can-eat buffet. All the pork balls, noodles and chicken your heart can take, but one woman has sued a Chinese buffet for a huge sum, after suffering what she described as 'fried rice syndrome'.
Confused? Yeah, me too. Let's take a look at what happened.
Back in 2016, 62-year-old Germaine Mobley went to Asian King Buffet in Waxahachie, Texas for lunch. The next day, she was in hospital, and soon, she wound up in intensive care. “Everything tasted fine,” said Mobley to local news stations, but her health started to rapidly deteriorate, and before long, she needed a ventilator to help her stay alive, .
“I just started vomiting. The next morning, I was having problems breathing, so my husband called an ambulance,” she said, and now she's looking for a million dollars in damages following her ordeal." Mobley also revealed that she was unable to walk for a week, before being forced to undergo three months of rehab in order to get her back to full health.
“’Fried rice syndrome’ sounds like a joke, but it’s very serious,” Mobley’s attorney Kathryn Knotts said of the lawsuit. "They [Asian King] didn't maintain the food at the proper temperature or kept it out for a long period of time."
But what exactly is 'fried rice syndrome'? It all has to do with the way rice is prepared, and how dangerous it can be to leave it out in the open at the wrong temperature. Fried rice syndrome is mainly down to the bacteria called Bacillus cereus, which is commonly found in foods which are kept at room temperature.
The symptoms of Bacillus cereus poisoning usually involve vomiting, diarrhoea and cramps, but while symptoms usually clear up in one or two days, Mrs Mobley's case appears to be an extreme one. The National Center for Biotechnology Information has a few suggestions for how to prevent your own case of fried rice syndrome:
"Rice should be boiled in smaller quantities on several occasions during the day, thereby reducing the storage time before frying. After boiling the rice should either be kept hot (> 63° C.) or cooled quickly and transferred to a refrigerator within two hours of cooking. Boiled or fried rice must not be stored under warm conditions especially in the range 15-50° C."
The owner of Asian King has denied the allegations that the food made Germaine Mobley sick, local news outlets reported.