If?meat is left out on the counter for too long, we all know we need to throw it out. But what about rice or pasta?
Although that carby goodness might seem harmless after sitting on the bench for a bit, you'll probably think twice about it once you hear about the bacterium Bacillus cereus.
It's not a particularly rare germ. B. cereus will happily live wherever it can – soil, food, or in the gut.
"The known natural habitats of B. cereus are wide-ranging, including soil, animals, insects, dust and plants," Anukriti Mathur, a biotechnology researcher at the Australian National University, explained to Science Alert.
"The bacteria will reproduce by utilising the nutrients from the food products [..] including rice, dairy products, spices, dried foods and vegetables."
Some strains of this bacterium are helpful for probiotics, but others can give you a nasty bout of food poisoning if given the ability to grow and?proliferate?- such as when you store food in the wrong conditions.
In 2005, one such case was recorded in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology - five children in one family got sick from eating four-day-old pasta salad.
According to the case study, pasta salad was prepared on a Friday, taken to a picnic on Saturday. After coming back from the picnic it was stored in the fridge until Monday evening, when the kids were fed it for dinner. ?
That night the children began vomiting, and were taken to hospital. Tragically, the youngest child died; another suffered from liver failure but survived, and the others had less severe food poisoning and could be treated with fluids.
Books and articles on the subject have proliferated over the year.