An aspiring chef died after eating a super-hot chilli sauce as part of an endurance competition with a friend.
Andrew Lee, 33, challenged his girlfriend’s brother to a contest to see who could eat the spiciest sauce that he could create.
The fork-lift truck driver, who wanted to cook for a living, prepared a tomato sauce made with red chillies grown on his father’s allotment. After eating it, however, he suffered intense discomfort and itching. The following morning he was found dead, possibly after suffering a heart attack.
Toxicology tests are being conducted to try to establish if he suffered a reaction to the food.
An inquest was told that Lee, from Edlington, England, was in perfect health and had just passed a medical examination at work. He was a keen cook and would often prepare meals for his parents. It is believed that Mr Lee had never prepared a dish as hot as the one he made the night before his death.
Lee’s sister, Claire Chadbourne, 29, said that he took a jar of the sauce to the home of his girlfriend, Samantha Bailey, and challenged her brother Michael, 29, to see who could eat it. “Andrew just ate the chillies with a plate of Dolmio sauce,” she added. “It was not a proper meal because he had already eaten lamb chops and potato mash after work.
“He apparently got into bed at 2.30am and started scratching all over. His girlfriend scratched his back until he fell asleep. She woke up and he had gone. It is incredible. Who would have thought he could have died from eating chilli sauce? We don’t know of anything else that could have caused his death. The postmortem showed no heart problems.
“He loved cooking for his friends. He always said he wanted to be a chef but didn’t want to start at the bottom.”
An inquest was opened and adjourned in Doncaster last week.