Would you be willing to put your body at risk for just one bite of the world’s hottest chili burger? I know I wouldn’t. That’s why I’m surprised that the XXX Hot Chili Burger is selling like crazy. You have to be over 18 to buy it from Burger Off, a British takeaway shop in Sussex. The burger measures a whopping 9.2 million on the Scoville heat scale. Just to give you an idea of how hot that is – a jalapeno measures 2,500 and the average chili is a meager 500 heat units. Even law enforcement spray scores just 5 million. The superhot burger is made with a special spicy sauce based on a Piri Piri chili concentrate. 3,000 people have attempted eating it so far, but only 59 were able to successfully finish it.
The XXX could cause so much damage to the human body that Burger Off owner Nick Gambardella is now asking customers to sign a waiver before consuming it. Five people were actually rushed to the hospital after taking a few bites of the infamous burger. One of them suffered a perforated bowel and the other four had anaphylactic shock. The local hospital even had a two-hour staff meeting about treating the chili burger’s victims. The first course of action is to put them on an adrenalin drip.
The legal disclaimer reads: ‘I, the undersigned, accept all responsibility for any effects incurred due to the consumption of the above mentioned XXX Hot Chili Burger and release Burger Off, its owner and staff from any liability’. I suppose you’ve got to be a real daredevil to eat something that requires you to sign a document like this! In fact, 55-year-old Gambardella himself is very surprised that people keep coming back to eat his burger.
“It has been a massive hit with customers,” he said. “Why the customers eat it I don’t know, because I always say to them that it is incredibly hot and give them all the health warnings under the sun. I think these people are slightly mad to eat it but I’m sure there is a certain level of peer pressure. A lot of people just regard it as a challenge.” According to Gambardella, some people come in with a lot of confidence, but are knocked down after the first bite.
“One guy came in and he was a little bit cocky and when he left he was admitted to hospital because prior to eating the burger he had a stomach ulcer and we believe it perforated his bowel. He wasn’t in a good way but he pulled through.” Luckily, the burger hasn’t killed anyone yet. But it’s not like the dish can’t be fatal. Many diners have suffered from anaphylactic shock, which is a severe allergic reaction that spreads rapidly and could result in death. The victims have symptoms like an itchy rash, throat swelling, breathing problems and low blood pressure.
In spite of the risk involved, Gambardella said that he has the right to keep serving the XXX as long as his customers want to eat it. “Obviously I always take my responsibilities as a food retailer seriously, but if my customers want super spicy food, I am entitled to give them what they want,” he said. Naturally, people who have eaten the burger and lived to tell the tale are taking to social media to brag about it.
One user wrote: “My brother had heard all these bold statements beforehand about how he went to Dubai and Delhi and demanded their hottest possible curry and it barely made him break a sweat. He got two bites into the XXX and gave up. Then spent two days recovering.”
“Sadly I can confirm that this Burger is no joke,” wrote another.
I’m curious to know the exact sensation that one goes through after eating the burger. It seems that people have begged for mercy, stri*ped, vomited and even punched windows while eating it. If it evokes such extreme reactions, is the burger really worth it?