Anyone who tries telling you that being a journalist isn't dangerous obviously hasn’t spoken to Arron Hendy and Ruari Barratt. The assistant news editor and trainee reporter were rushed to the hospital recently after taking a bite of Burger Off’s “XXX Hot Chili Burger”. The two, who experienced extreme side effects such as lose of sensation in their limbs, claimed the ordeal made them feel like they were dying.

This Burger’s No Joke

Burger Off is a fast food restaurant nestled in the English seaside town of Hove, not far from Brighton. The British eatery boasts the usual lunch and dinner menu but it’s the XXX Hot Chili Burger that has everyone talking. After the first bite Hendy decided that the burger was too hot to finish, but initially felt alright physically, The Argus reported. Unfortunately Barratt experienced severe stomach pains only minutes after his first chomp. Eventually Barratt lost feeling in his hands, his legs began to shake, and his eyes rolled back into his head. Two hours later the spice kicked in for Hendy and he began to have similar symptoms. “It was hard to walk. I needed to drink milk to neutralise the burning, which was hard because I was hyperventilating so much my hands had seized up,” Barratt told The Argus. Both men were taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital where they  received treatment for their symptons.

“Hot” Is An Understatement

To call the burger spicy is a vast understatement. The sauce used to create the monstrously hot lunchtime treat uses a concentrated piri piri chili sauce from India. The owner, Nick Gambardella estimated that the sauce is between seven to nine million units on the Scolville scale. To put this into perspective, tabasco sauce in only around 2,500 to 5,000 on the scale and pepper spray, that can bring even the largest person to their knees only reaches a mere 500,000 to five million units.

Patrons Must Sign A Waiver

It may seem bizarre that an eatery would even sell a food that causes patrons to feel, as Hendy puts it, “like dying.” Gambardella insists that Burger Off does “try and take a certain level of responsibility.” The burger isn’t available to those under the age of 18, and for those adults brave enough to try a bite, Gambardella has them sign a waiver first.  “I spend about as much time convincing people not to try one as I do selling them. I tell people it will ruin their weekend,” Gambardella told The Argus.

Spice Tolerance

Tolerance of spicy food has to do with a combination of genes and what you’re used to, Popular Science reported.  There is no complete research on the subject yet but scientists speculate that certain individuals are born with pain receptors less sensitive to the capsaicin, the chemical that makes spicy food so hot. Constant exposure to spicy food in childhood is also likely to have increased your ability to handle it as you get older. “We assume that continued exposure at a young age causes nerve endings to die off," Dr. Bruce Bryant from the Monell Chemical Senses Center told Popular Science.

Death By Chili

Still messing around with food that is too spicy is no joke. "Theoretically, one could eat enough really hot chiles to kill you," Paul Bosland, professor of horticulture at New Mexico State University and director of the Chile Pepper Institute told Live Science. High doses of the hot stuff can lead to increases in the metabolic rate, thermogenesis, and tissue inflammation. Death by chili pepper isn’t likely to happen accidentally, thankfully.  Bosland explained how “one's body would react sooner and not allow it to happen.” So unless you consume about three pounds of chilies in one sitting, you’re probably going to make it out alive.