A 32-year-old man collapsed after competing in a live-insect eating contest in South Florida, where 30 contestants all tried to down as many insects and worms as possible on Friday night at a reptile store to win an $800 python.
The winner, Edward Archbold, became ill after eating "dozens of live bugs and worms," collapsing in front of the store. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, a sherriff's statement said. Authorities are awaiting results of an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
"Unless the roaches were contaminated with some bacteria or other pathogens, I don't think that cockroaches would be unsafe to eat," said Michael Adams, professor of entomology at the University of California at Riverside, told the AP. "Some people do have allergies to roaches," he said, "but there are no toxins in roaches or related insects."
The bugs used in the competition were "safely and domestically raised" as food for reptiles, AP reports.