Man dies after eating bugs at bug eating contest

Edward Archbold eating bugs  
By: Debbie Gross 

(Scroll down for video) A man died right after participating in a bug eating contest, according to reports.

The winner of a cockroach eating contest in South Florida died shortly after downing dozens of live insects and worms, officials said Monday.

About 30 participants ate insects during the contest Friday night at Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach about 40 miles north of Miami. The grand prize winner received a python.

Edward Archbold, 32, of West Palm Beach fell ill shortly after the contest ended and collapsed in front of the store, according to a statement of the Broward Sheriff's Office released Monday. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Authorities are awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

"Unless some cockroaches were contaminated with bacteria or other pathogens, the cockroaches would be safe to eat," Michael Adams, professor of entomology at the University of California at Riverside said, who added that he has never heard of someone dying after consuming cockroaches. "Some people have allergies to cockroaches," he said, "but there are no toxins in cockroaches and related insects."

None of the other contestants got sick, the sheriff's office said. There was no phone number listed for Archbold in West Palm Beach. "We feel terribly awful," store owner Ben Siegel said, adding that Archbold did not seem to be sick before the contest.

"He looked like he just wanted to show off and was having a good time," Siegel said, adding that Archbold was "the life of the party."

Siegel said Archbold was selling the exotic prize to a friend who took him to the contest. A statement from the attorney of Siegel said that all participants signed waivers "to accept responsibility for their participation in this unique and unorthodox competition."

Insects were consumed from an insect inventory "that were grown at home in a safe and controlled environment as food for reptiles."

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