Three in hospital after malaysian chili festival opening night
local organiser fired
An annual chili appreciation festival in the Malaysian city of Ipoh descended into chaos when a number of diners started to show signs of major cardiac failure. The event, known as the annual Ipoh Inferno, has been running for the past
18 years now without incident and celebrates all things chili. With stalls offering the hottest, spiciest and tastiest local foods on offer and prizes for participants who can finish painfully spicy dishes, the festival has been a major tourist success for the Malaysian city. With increasingly spicy chilies being grown and produced however, local organisers have been warned that many participants may not know their own limits.
To compound issues, organisers suspect some participants may be cheating in their attempts to create increasingly hotter dishes by using genetically modified chilies. These chilies, undetectable from others to the naked eye, are so potent that in 2039 two women were charged and sentenced to jail time for what became known as the river of fire incident<sup<1</sup>. Investigators have stated that the exact cause of this weekends tragedy is still too early to discuss but are calling for witness to come forward.
Afiq Nur Mawar, an Ipoh local who frequents the festival, told the Daily Khilfah that he thought his insides were “on fire”.
I’ve lived here my entire life so I’m used to hot chili in my food but this year I think the participants wen’t overboard. It’s been two days and I still can’t taste anything and doctors have told me it might be months before my taste buds grow back. I think chefs and stall owners need to remember the spirit of the festival and return to celebrating our cuisine, not trying to outdo each other with spicier and spicier food.
Head geneticist at the Ipoh State University, Amir Said, believes the growth in back yard laboratories and online genetics kits has fueled the development of dangerous foods.
Originally genetic modification was only available to those exclusively in the science domain. With huge advances in the field of genetics however, and the availability of easy do-it-yourself gene splicing kits we’ve noticed a lot more dangerous home made modified foods being sold locally. While we recognise genetics is fun, people need to be cautious of the dangerous. It was only last week that a group of teenagers were hospitalised after accidentally adding box jellyfish venom to their donut glaze.
While investigators continue to review the material and events from the tragedy, the local governor has issued a day of mourning for the deceased. As no individual is directly responsible for their deaths, and in accordance with the Sharia, the state will pay blood money to the families affected to compensate for their loss.
<sup<1</sup>Malaysian locals will be familiar with the river of fire incident when two women, who rightfully suspected their backyard laboratory was under surveillance, attempted to destroy their synthesised chili by throwing it into the river. This unfortunately led to the closure of three regional schools when school children who were swimming in the water were suddenly exposed to chili extract so potent hundreds had to be evacuated to larger municipal hospitals. The two women are serving a 3 month sentence followed by 3 months community service and retraining.