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Aspiring Chef Dies Following Spicy Sauce Challenge

We know of death by chocolate as a humorously-named dessert. But death by hot sauce? That may be for real.

Andrew Lee, 33, of Great Britain, passed away in his sleep after partaking in a spicy sauce-eating competition. The forklift driver and aspiring chef challenged his girlfriend's brother to see who could create and then eat the spiciest hot sauce. He arrived at his girlfriend's apartment with a jar of sauce made with red chiles that had been grown by his father just for the occasion.

Lee suffered an intense bout of itchiness, and after girlfriend Samantha Bailey was unable to revive him later that night, she called an ambulance. Lee was pronounced dead at the scene.

This is the first known case where voluntarily consuming spicy chiles may have caused a fatality. Lee was reportedly in excellent health, having recently passed a medical examination. Investigators say it is possible, however, that he may have suffered a heart attack. They are also conducting toxicology tests to find out whether he suffered a reaction to the spicy food.

Have you ever engaged in or witnessed a hot sauce-eating competition? If so, does this news change the way you look view them?


Join The Conversation
Rhaav Rhaav 8 years
Regarding Andrew Lee, the fellow who died after drinking the pepper sauce: I believe he was allergic to the peppers. Years ago, when I insisted on eating raw green peppers, I would be taken to the hospital with a very powerful case of itching from head to toe, and my throat closing up. I was given a shot of Benadryl. When I asked about the closing of my throat, the doctor said, without treatment, my throat could close, and I would breathe no more. This, I believe, is what happened to Andrew Lee.
Blackthorne Blackthorne 8 years
And remember, you can develop an allergy at any time. His poor friends and family. :/
justanerd1975 justanerd1975 8 years
imagine how his dad felt? he grew those peppers in his garden for his son, just for that occasion! I am still sad thinking about this poor man :(
suziryder suziryder 8 years
Wow, that's sad. His poor girlfriend! I can't imagine how devastated she must be. It sounds like he had an allergic reaction. If he had never had that kind of pepper before... even if he had had that kind of pepper before, in much smaller quantities he might not have even noticed a mild allergic reaction. And he might have earlier sensitized his body to react much stronger the next time. I guess Ben Franklin was right, everything in moderation ...
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
capsaicin, in large amounts can seriously cause an adverse reaction, if someone has high blood pressure, or is allergic
jessie jessie 8 years
how horrible! :(
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Oh my. How sad.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
wow - this is scary. i've heard of a few people passing away because of food competitions and there has to be a way to monitor what's going on there. there was one that was on a radio show and there have been several others- and it's just a shame since you don't really consider that you're doing anything too dangerous. my thoughts go out to his friends and family.
justanerd1975 justanerd1975 8 years
i bet you he was allergic! I still wouldn't eat tons of them, just because that is retarded imo.
hellomodupe hellomodupe 8 years
my first job was at hooters and sometimes crazy teenage boys would come in ask us to make the secret elvis sauce for them to see who could chug it for a free t-shirt. it always made me nervous...i hope they're not still doing that!
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 8 years
Years ago, in a fit of youthful bravado, I told the waitress in an Indian restaurant (very cute, by the way) to make my curry as hot as possible. She came back out from the kitchen and said that the chef refused to send anyone *else* to the hospital that year. I laughed it off and decided to take their word for it. This puts things into a bit more perspective, though I imagine that in my instance, there was hyperbole going on.
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