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Bug-eating Contestant Choked to Death

Posted: Nov. 26, 2012, 4:45 p.m. EST

The death of a Florida man who collapsed after a bug-eating contest hosted by Ben Siegal Reptiles was ruled an accident today, the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office reported.

Edward Archbold, 32, died from asphyxia Oct. 6, 2012, after aspirating and choking on what he had consumed, the Medical Examiner’s Office added.

Media reports said Archbold had eaten dozens of mealworms, superworms and discoid roaches.

Laboratory tests ruled out other possible reasons for Archbold’s death.

Archbold had won a “Midnight Madness” contest and the grand prize, an ivory ball python, when he began retching outside the Deerfield Beach, Fla., reptile store. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Bug-eating Contestant Choked to Death
Drugs, alcohol and an allergic reaction were ruled out as causes in the death of Edward Archbold.
None of the other 30 contestants were sickened.

The store’s attorney released a statement days after the contest saying the contestants “were entirely aware of what they were doing and…signed thorough waivers.”

“The consumption of insects is widely accepted throughout the world, and the insects presented as part of the contest were taken from an inventory of insects that are safely and domestically raised in a controlled environment as food for reptiles,” the statement added.


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