Last Friday, 32 year old Edward Archbold (aka Edward William Barry) entered a cockroach eating contest at Ben Siegel Reptiles in Deerfield Beach, FL. He downed dozens of the bugs during the competition and was ultimately declared the winner of an ivory-ball python, which he planned to give to a friend. However, soon afterwards, Archbold became ill, collapsed and died.
The reason for the death is unclear, as no other contestants became ill and the insects were apparently “taken from an inventory of insects that are safely and domestically raised in a controlled environment as food for reptiles.”
Michael Adams, a professor of entomology at the University of California, Riverside, stated:
“Unless the roaches were contaminated with some bacteria or other pathogens, I don’t think that cockroaches would be unsafe to eat,” Adams said. “Some people do have allergies to roaches but there are no toxins in roaches or related insects.”
The medical examiner’s office is conducting tests to determine a cause of death.