College students call it day-old-dinner. Medical professionals call it "fried rice syndrome."
A TikTok went viral detailing the tragic 2008 death of a 20-year-old who passed away after eating spoiled pasta.
"Do not make your food, put it in a Tupperware and then leave it on your counter for a week," said the TikToker @jpall20. "Because you will literally pass away."
According to professionals, this particular food poisoning, known as "fried rice syndrome," can be found in prepared foods that have been sitting out at room temperature for an extended period of time.
Fried rice syndrome develops from the bacteria "Bacillus cereus," which grows on foods, like rice or pasta, and produces toxins as the food cools down. These toxins can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramping when the bacteria is consumed, which leads to severe illness and, in some rare and extreme cases, even death.
But according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Division, food doesn't need to be left out for a week to develop this bacteria.
The USDA says that leaving cooked food out and unrefrigerated for just over two hours puts you in the "danger zone" for any type of food poisoning.
According to the CDC, 1 in 6 Americans get sick from a foodborne illness each year. To better avoid contracting food poisoning, the USDA advises Americans to properly store their grains, rice and pasta in a cool, dry place – away from any extreme heat or cold – in addition to practicing proper food handling after cooking.