Good buffets are the white whales of the restaurant business. The prospect of stuffing your face full of unlimited food for $9.99 screams out to you. But your standard buffet can turn from a joyous feeding frenzy into a the stuff of nightmares pretty fast. Consider for example 62-year-old Germaine Mobley of Corsicana, Texas.
In 2016, she and a friend ate lunch at the Asian King buffet, and the steady helpings of under-heated food had consequences. The Dallas News reports that Mobley is suing the buffet for $1 million after it gave her Bacillus cereus, otherwise known as "fried rice syndrome." An illness found on food that typically sits at room temperature for too long, it can cause cramps, vomiting and diarrhea, and basically make your life a living hell.
While the symptoms typically dissipate over two or three days, Mobley's case was extreme. She reportedly started vomiting shortly after lunch, and wound up in the ICU for eight days -- two of which required her to use a ventilator to breathe. Mobley suffers from pre-existing health conditions that exacerbated her plight, according to the report.
"I remember going, 'I've never even heard of this,'" her lawyer Kathryn Knotts told the paper. "[Mobley] wasn't sure what could even really be done, she just wanted this to not continue to happen to other people."
While Mobley's purported bout with extreme food poisoning is the subject of her suit, the buffet's owner, Huanan Ye, said she doesn't have sufficient evidence to press charges.
The moral of the story: heat lamps, while a necessary evil, are always your friend.
h/t The Takeout