RICHMOND, Va. — It has just been reported that thousands of local residents have been hospitalized from food comas brought on by the annual Broad Appetit festival.
Broad Appetit is Richmond’s largest annual food festival, a seven-hour event on West Broad Street where dozens of local restaurants set up booths and sell small food plates for $3 each.
With such inexpensive prices and mass quantities of rich foods, consumers often don’t realize how much they’ve eaten until it’s dangerously too late. Sudden extreme overeating can lead to abdominal pain, headaches, and lethargy. In severe cases it can cause unconsciousness and even death.
This afternoon VCU Medical Center became flooded with festival-goers who had consumed large quantities of restaurant-quality fare in a short span of time. “We had to call in all of our staff or as many as were able to come in such short notice,” Chief of Medical Staff Marsha Lewis told reporters. “Doctors and nurses arrived from other hospitals around town. I’ve never seen a medical tragedy like this before.”
Patients were treated as quickly as possible with stomach pumps, electrolytes, and IVs of Pepto Bismol.
Thomas Matthews was among the many attendees to fall into a coma in the midst of the festival. He was one of the first rushed to VCU Medical Center but was revived and released hours later. “There was just so much food,” he recalled. “I couldn’t help myself. I was on my fourth or fifth plate of pimento cheese and then it all went black.”
Dan Harding, a Broad Appetit festival official, reported that next year they plan to enforce a strict ticket system to limit the amount each individual will be able to consume.
“Festival attendees are often eager to try so many restaurants that they haven’t tried before or can’t normally afford,” Harding reported. “While this is a great culinary opportunity, people simply have got to pace themselves.”
He declined to comment further on the recent tragedy.