Diners are being asked to sign a waiver before eating a fiery chilli burger – after it put five people in hospital. The XXX Hot Chilli Burger – dubbed the hottest dish in Britain – is served to over 18s only at Burger Off in Hove, Sussex.
It is topped with chilli sauce worth a staggering 9.2million on the Scoville scale – a measure of the ‘hotness’ of foods. In contrast, the average chilli pepper comes in at just 500 Scoville Heat Units.
One diner was taken to hospital with a suspected perforated bowel after eating the spicy dish, while four others were admitted for treatment on the same night for suspected anaphylactic shock. Now, restaurant owner Nick Gambardella is asking customers to sign a legal disclaimer that prevents them from suing him if they fall victim to the red-hot burger.
Mr Gambardella, 55, said he was ‘amazed’ that he was allowed to sell such a spicy burger – adding: ‘It has been a massive hit with the customers’.
‘I have to admit I’ve not dared to try one of these burgers myself as they are so spicy,’ he said.
‘One guy came in and he was just 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.
‘I’ve also heard the local hospital had people on crash mats on adrenalin drips from my burger. But we never call an ambulance, it is always the customer who calls.’
He added: ‘I have spoken to people at environmental health but they think it is hilarious.
The burger, which is on sale for only £3.90, features sauce based on a Piri Piri chilli concentrate, created through steaming and later infused with carbon dioxide.
So far, only 59 out of 3,000 challengers have succeeded in eating the entire dish.
Mr Gambardella said the burger had caused customers to adopt a number of undignified coping mechanisms, including stripping naked, begging for mercy, punching windows and vomiting.
He added: ‘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.’
Many of the burger’s conquerors have taken to Twitter and The Burger Off Facebook page to spread the word of their victory.