Aspiring chef dies hours after making ultra-hot sauce for chilli-eating contest

[via dailymail]

An aspiring cook who challenged his friend to a chilli-eating contest died just hours later.

Andrew Lee, 33, had used a bag of home-grown red chillies to make a super-hot sauce.

The forklift truck driver, who had recently passed a medical at work, dared his girlfriend's brother to eat a spoonful - then ate a plateful himself. Shortly after he had a heart attack and died.

Andrew Lee

Andrew Lee made an ultra-hot sauce with homegrown chillis. The morning after he was found unconscious and paramedics were unable to revive him

Mr Lee took a jar of the sauce to his girlfriend's house last weekend, where he challenged her brother Michael, his family said.

His sister, Claire Chadbourne, 29, explained: 'They had a contest over who could make the hottest chilli sauce.

'Andrew had used chillies to make Thai dishes before but had never made anything this hot.

'My dad grew the chillies especially for Andrew. The contest was planned and he gave them to him.

'Andrew just ate it with a plate of Dolmio. It was not a proper meal because he had already eaten lamb chops and mash after coming home from work. I don't know if Michael ate the chilli sauce as well.'

But as he went to bed after the contest, Mr Lee, of Edlington, Doncaster, had complained of itching, she added.

The next morning, his girlfriend Samantha Bailey, a mother of four, found him unconscious.

She called an ambulance, but paramedics were unable to revive him. Mr Lee was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mrs Chadbourne added: '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 was dead.

'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.

'He was perfectly healthy and the post-mortem showed no heart problems.'

She added: 'He loved cooking for his friends and was a good cook. He always said he wanted to be a chef but didn't want to start at the bottom.

'He would do anything for anybody. He never held a grudge and loved fishing and computers.'

Mr Lee's mother, Pamela, 61, said: 'He had used chillies in cooking but never made a sauce like this before.

1'He tested the sauce after making it, stuck his finger in and went to wash it, saying, "Wow, that's hot."

'We don't know what happened to him. Something has given him a cardiac arrest and we can only put it down to the chilli sauce.'

Toxicology tests are under way to see whether Mr Lee had a fatal reaction to the sauce.

Attempts to develop ever hotter varieties of chilli pepper have been condemned by health experts, who warn of potentially lethal effects.

Mild adverse reactions can include burning eyes, a streaming nose and uncontrollable hiccups.

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