Warning: Waive Your Legal Rights to Enjoy This Hot Sauce

waiver to consume hot sauceWhat kind of a consumer would voluntarily ingest a hot sauce so dangerous they must first sign a disclaimer/waiver acknowledging “serious injury can be caused if applied to skin, eyes or and exposed body parts,” and waiving their legal rights in the event of injury, while also certifying they are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of signing? (Click on thumbnail to expand.)

Answer: The only answers coming readily to mind are an unreasonable consumer or one with an asbestos-lined stomach. If this product–a hot sauce manufactured by a burrito company and called, among other names, Smack My Ass and Call Me Sally–is dangerous enough to require a disclaimer before consumption, should it be marketed at all?

The sauce is reportedly 700 times hotter than tobasco sauce and 300 times hotter than a jalapeno.  Looking forward to trying it before my next emergency colon surgery.

But believe it or not, there are much hotter sauces available! The heat of hot sauces is measured in Scoville units. Smack My Ass and Call Me Sally rates at 1.5 million Scoville units.  The hottest sauce, according to a site that tracks these things, is Blair’s 16 Million Reserve, which rates 16 million Scoville units, or 3200 times hotter than a jalapeno.

Is there any other consumable product for which buyers must sign a disclaimer/waiver?

The waiver of rights may or may not be valid depending on the accuracy of the risk information in the disclaimer. If hot sauces of this nature were determined to be “unreasonably dangerous,” the waiver would not be upheld. Every product carries a warranty of merchantability that the product is fit for the ordinary purposes for which such products are used; here, human consumption.

But since several different brands of super-hot sauces exist, maybe they really aren’t dangerous. Maybe the disclaimer is even part of a marketing plan, since boasting the hottest of hot sauces appears to be a selling point.

2 comments to Warning: Waive Your Legal Rights to Enjoy This Hot Sauce

  • Bernard Davies

    Where can I buy this hot sauce

  • The Pepper Guy

    I assure you that there are hot sauces now that DO require waiver to taste. I had a friend almost pass out from some I made at home. Ironically, this is how i stumbled onto your blog post. The hot sauces listed aren’t as hot as some out now. Basically, anything with a Bhut Jolokia or higher needs a waiver.

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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