There are certain bragging rights that come with being able to grow and eat the world’s hottest chile peppers, but with great heat comes great responsibility, and one should keep those peppers away from small children and animals who might not know better and wind up with eyes and mouths full of chile oil.
This week, paramedics were called to New Castle Middle School in Indiana to deal with the panic that resulted when a bunch of children started handling some Carolina Reaper peppers, which are the hottest peppers in the world. The Scoville scale is a measurement of the spiciness of various chile peppers, and according to Yahoo News, Carolina Reaper peppers rate up to 1.57 million Scovilles. A jalapeno pepper is just between 3,500 and 10,000 Scoville units, and most middle school students would not be happy if they bit into one of those.
But this week a student at the school reportedly brought in some Carolina Reaper peppers that his father grows at home, and he passed them out to the other kids at lunch. Chile peppers are not just spicy in a person’s mouth. If one gets chile pepper juice on one’s hands and touches one’s eyes, the burn is excruciating.
One boy did just that, and when he started flailing and screaming, teachers realized what was going on. Overall, more than two dozen students complained of being burned from eating or touching the peppers.
"We provided them milk to try and coat their stomachs, and then we made the decision to call our local EMTs," principal Jaci Hadsell said.
The kids were watched for signs of anaphylactic shock, but luckily nobody had to be rushed to the hospital. Principal Hadsell noted that the kid who brought in the peppers was “appropriately disciplined,” but did not specify what that might have entailed.