Iconic Doughnut Shop Suspends All Eating Challenges After Horrific Choking Death


Voodoo doughnuts is a Portland juggernaut. The doughnut shop has received international acclaim for diabetes-coma-inducing and nostalgia heavy fried dough concoctions. The company promotes itself by supporting artists, musicians, partnering with a brewer (everybody has a beer these days), and competitive doughnut eating competitions. Unfortunately, it’s that last one that has the shop in the news.

Over the weekend, Voodoo held one of its eating competitions in their Denver store — the Voodoo Doughnut’s Tex-Ass Doughnut Challenge. For a $4.50 entry fee, each contestant is given 80 seconds to finish the Tex-ass doughnut, a standard glazed doughnut the size of one’s head. If you’re curious, that translate to one-half pound of pure fried dough and sugar.

Around 1AM on Sunday morning, the paramedics were called to the Denver store when 42-year-old contestant Travis Malouff started to choke. He died of asphyxia on the scene due to a blocked airway according to reports from authorities.

Voodoo Doughnuts broke their silence on the issue last night and released a statement. It reads, “Our hearts go out to the Malouff family during this very difficult time. We have suspended the eating challenge in all our locations. While this matter is under investigation, we believe it would be inappropriate to comment further.” This may be the end of the Voodoo Doughnut challenges worldwide.

The incident is not without precedent. Two other people have perished this year in competitive eating related deaths in Connecticut and South Korea (both college students incidentally). This comes on the back of 4 deaths worldwide in eating competitions in 2016 — one of which was at a KFC and it has many questioning whether restaurants have a duty to train their employees in CPR to avoid this type of tragedy in the future.

(Via The Denver Post)