A 19-year-old college student recently underwent surgery to have his legs and fingers amputated, after an illness caused multiple organ failure. He was diagnosed with meningococcal purpura fulminan, and it developed after the patient consumed leftover rice, chicken and lo mein.
What is meningococcal purpura fulminan?
This illness is quite different than other foodborne illnesses, such as salmonella. For rice and noodles, if left out too long after heating, these foods produce a bacterium called Bacillus cereus, and it can become toxic. Those infected with it often assume they are suffering from a 24-hour flu, since the symptoms are similar, vomiting, diarrhea and a fever.
Meningococcal purpura fulminan, which resulted after exposure to this bacteria, is extremely rare. It’s technically a complication of septic shock, which can result in necrosis within the soft tissue and skin of the patient. Necrosis is the death of body tissue, and cannot be reversed.
What are the symptoms of meningococcal purpura fulminan?
The illness first presents at first as a rash, but then spreads rapidly in extent and depth, with darkening skin, and ulcer-like fissions on the skin’s surface. It devolves into full-thickness skin necrosis, which sometimes necessitates amputation.
If you feel that you are suffering from similar symptoms, go to the hospital immediately. Though this condition is rare, you can safely avoid contracting this type of foodborne illness by properly storing and heating leftovers.
How to safely enjoy leftovers
Don’t eat any leftovers that were improperly stored, refrigerated or reheated. Be sure to:
- Refrigerate leftovers to eat later, if it hasn’t been two hours since the meal.
- Refrigerate leftovers for a maximum of three to four days.
- Keep frozen leftovers for a maximum of three to four months.
- When microwaving leftovers, check to ensure that they are cooked through.
- Heat your leftovers to reach 165 degrees before you enjoy them.
If you or a loved one have suffered from a foodborne illness through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the experienced foodborne illness attorneys at Allen & Allen for a free consultation at 866-388-1307.