What Is Fried Rice Syndrome and How Can You Avoid It?

Playing How to Avoid Fried Rice Syndrome

Fried rice may be delicious, but if it isn't prepared right, it could land you in intensive care, according to 62-year-old Germaine Mobley.

"I was very, very sick,” she told Inside Edition. 

Mobley says she got violently ill after dining at a restaurant just outside Dallas.

"I started having problems breathing and my husband called an ambulance," she recalled. 

Mobley says she ended up in the ICU for eight days with what’s known as "fried rice syndrome," it can happen if restaurants leave the rice out too long to cool. Mobley is suing the restaurant. The restaurant denies her claims that its food made her sick.

Many professional cooks like to let the rice cool so it doesn't' clump and get mushy when mixed with the other ingredients when fried.

If it cools too long, however, bacteria can develop and make you sick.

Culinary expert and "Chopped" champion Celeste Rogers explained the process to Inside Edition. 

“Often we will cook batches of rice, we will leave them out at room temperature to cool,” she said. “It is that period of time that we need to watch. We have a max of six hours to cool that rice.” 

If you're preparing fried rice at home, Rogers has advice on how to cool the rice quickly and to avoid bacteria growth that happens from keeping it out too long.

“To cool it quickly, we are going to get it on a flat surface so that it has more surface area to cool off,” she said. 

Once it's cool, start mixing the ingredients for a safe and delectable meal.

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