A 62-year-old woman in Texas filed a million-dollar lawsuit against a Chinese buffet restaurant, claiming that the food it served gave her “fried rice syndrome.”
The ordeal started in 2016 when Germaine Mobley visited Asian King Buffet in Waxahachie and ordered fried rice for lunch.
“Everything tasted fine,” she told WFMY.
But Mobley allegedly started feeling sick on her way home. She eventually ended up in the intensive care unit for eight days.
“I just started vomiting. The next morning, I was having problems breathing, so my husband called an ambulance,” she recalled.
Mobley attributed her “fried rice syndrome” to Bacillus cereus, a type of bacteria found in food kept at room temperature. This bacteria brings about two types of illnesses, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
One is characterized by abdominal pain and non-bloody diarrhea, which usually lasts for up to 24 hours. The other is characterized by an acute attack of nausea and vomiting, which occurs in the first five hours following the consumption of contaminated food.
Cooked meat and vegetables, boiled or fried rice, vanilla sauce, custards, soups, and raw vegetable sprouts have all been blamed for previous outbreaks, the FDA noted.
“You just never dream that you would go out to eat and get that ill,” said Mobley, who also noted that she had pre-existing medical conditions.
She warned others about eating at a rice buffet.
“You’re taking the chance at getting very ill when you’re eating at a rice buffet. You could be the next person,” KHOU 11 quoted her as saying.
Kathryn Knotts, Mobley’s lawyer, said that her client had to spend three more months in rehab after leaving the hospital. Treatments reportedly cost $100,000.
“Fried Rice Syndrome sounds like a joke, but it’s very serious. They [Asian King] didn’t maintain the food at the proper temperature or kept it out for a long period of time,” Knotts said.
In response, Asian King Buffet owner Huanan Ye said that Mobley’s lawsuit does not have sufficient evidence, Dallas News reported.