If competitive eating shows on TV have taught me anything, it’s that ghost peppers are a food you don’t want to mess with. But somehow, 40 middle school students in West Milton, Ohio were treated by paramedics for having allergic reactions to eating ghost peppers during their lunch hour, as reported by Dayton Daily News.
This story arrives with an extra dose of pain when one realizes that the students ate the peppers voluntarily. The Dayton Daily News reported that 40 kids — between the ages of 11 and 14 — had ingested the pepper, with five having to be taken to the local hospital. Superintendent Brad Ritchey of Milton-Union Exempted Village Schools told the Daily News that the response time by emergency crews was astonishing for the number of kids who were having allergic reactions to the pepper:
“The response of emergency services was amazing; deputies and help from surrounding paramedics … we really had a lot of help here this afternoon. This was serious but sometimes situations at schools become far more serious than this.”
A little background on this specific pepper: on the Scoville Scale — the scale that determines how hot a pepper is — a Ghost Pepper ranges between 800,000 and 1,041,427 Scovilles. To put that into perspective, a jalapeño is only 10,000 Scovilles, so you can surmise this is one big, bad pepper. Several students started to have adverse reactions to eating it, with one reportedly breaking out in hives and two throwing up. Thankfully, they were in the lunchroom and could down milk to help stop the heat. Hey, kids will be kids, but let this be a lesson to all … never eat a ghost pepper.