“Most superb dishes usually require dicing, slicing, heating, boiling or cutting, all time-honored methods of fine food preparation. Yet, whether they are done automatically or by hand, each action presents the potential opportunity for self-injury to a guest. Even eating the simplest food can be hazardous. Just ask George W. Bush. Yes, President Bush.
President Bush lost consciousness and fainted while eating a pretzel in the White House. And it wasn’t a joke. The President was watching a televised National Football Game and munching pretzels when one went astray. He fainted when his heart rate temporarily dropped after the swallowed pretzel got stuck in his throat. The President sustained and abrasion on his left check and a bruise on his lower lip when he fell over. What happened?
A neurological exam pointed to vasovagal fainting. In such cases, the body sends a signal to the heart via the vagus nerve that slows the heart rate enough to cut off the oxygen supply and causes a fainting spell. So, if it can happened with a mere pretzel to the President of the United States in the White House, there’s no reason to think that the same couldn’t happen with, for example, that tempting bowl of chef’s nuts, almonds basted in sherry with a touch of chili pepper, deep fried camembert-filled samosas, a wad of sushi or dozens of other gourmet appetizers and dishes.”