Two food challenge deaths in less than 24 hours spotlight the dangers associated with food eating contests

FAIRFILED, Connecticut - Sacred Heart University is mourning the death of a 20-year-old student after an eating competition went awry.

"You don't expect that, at something like that,” said sophomore Kevin Carlson.

a 20-year-old sorority girl was not a professional eater.

Caitlin Nelson was taking part in a charity pancake eating contest when she started choking after about five pancakes. When the officers arrived Nelson's airway was already closed.

“It was difficult for officers responding to establish an airway," Lt. Robert Kalamaras of the Fairfield Police Department said.

"There's no doubt this is awful for her family in New Jersey. Especially since they're no strangers to heartache. Caitlin was only five when her father officer, James Nelson, was killed during the 9/11 attacks," said Carlson. "It just goes to show you that anything can happen."

Less than 24 hours later another food challenge death was reported in Denver, Colorado.

Travis Malouff, 42, was attempting Voodoo Donuts "Texas Challenge".

You get 80 seconds to eat a donut about the size of your face.

The pay-off? A small button and the eaten donut is free.

Choking, of course, is the downside!

During pro competitions medical staff are always standing by, but Colorado restaurants aren't required by law to be trained in first aid, CPR, or the Heimlich maneuver.

After Malouff’s death, Voodoo suspended their contest at all of their locations.