Adam Richman van Man v. Food spoke about his near-death experience in 2018 on the August 3 podcast episode Celebrity Catch Up: Life After That Thing I Did. At a Michelin event in Zurich in 2018, the 48-year-old realized something wasn’t right. Richman said on the program that he discovered a pimple-like development in one of his mustache follicles. The actor and TV celebrity later said the disease caused his lips to swell to the size of a banana.
The Brooklyn native, best known as the host of several food challenge shows, including the Travel Channel’s Man v. Food, said the problem was caused by an infection with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
The amazing @AdamRichman reminisces with me about his time on Man v Food and his proud legacy of spotlighting great dishes.
He talks about food challenges, dealing with over-famous fans, transcendent dining experiences, and the real reason he left the show. pic.twitter.com/mc9CkFNIhR
— Celebrity Catch Up: Life After What I Did (@CelebCatchUpPod) August 3, 2022
Adam Richman’s Life-Threatening Illness in 2018
According to the TV host, he contracted the staph infection in Zurich, Switzerland in 2018. Adam Richman shared more in his appearance on the Celebrity Catch Up: Life After That Thing I Did podcast:
“One of my mustache follicles looked like a pimple and didn’t heal properly.” I went to the doctor, and then my lip started to puff up like a banana – it was ugly. I remember having to cut a piece of medical tape and couldn’t reach my teeth.”
To address the disease, Adam Richman had surgery and was given numerous antibiotics. He was apparently advised at the time that the disease can develop intracranially and spread to his brain. Richman was told that the infection on his mustache follicle was in an area known as the “risk triangle” and that it could spread to his skull, posing a life-threatening condition. According to the food enthusiast, Richman is still unsure of the reason for his MRSA illness. He claimed:
“The doctor said it could be anything from a water glass to a hotel towel, shaking someone’s hand, and then inevitably it was a water glass” (touching my face). There are several options.”
Rickman went on to explain how bad it would have been if he hadn’t fully healed, saying:
“At the time, it never seemed like ‘you’re going to die’ — it was never postulated, but it was always kind of well known.” They probably didn’t want to scare me.”
What exactly is a MRSA infection?
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), also known as the MRSA superbug, is a bacterium that causes staph infection. They are extremely difficult to treat because the bacteria are very robust and develop resistance to a variety of drugs. If left untreated, MRSA infection can spread quickly and cause sepsis. This can quickly develop into a life-threatening situation, activating the immune system and affecting other organs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States:
“MRSA can affect anyone. Crowded activities or locations, skin-to-skin contact, and shared equipment or supplies all increase the risk. Some individuals who have MRSA can become infected with MRSA. Non-intact skin, such as scrapes or cuts, is often the site of an MRSA infection.”
What happened to Adam Richman after he appeared in Man v. Food?
After hosting Travel Channel’s amazing program Man V. Food since 2008, Adam Richman left the show in 2012 after its 88th episode. There were rumors at the time that Richman had left the program due to health problems. However, the former presenter would refute such accusations. A year after leaving the program, Adam Richman revealed to PEOPLE magazine that he had lost 60 pounds since leaving Man v. Food, saying:
“People expect me to order the biggest, most expensive meal, but it’s okay to say no.” Dyson, I’m not human.”
Following Adam Richman’s departure from Man v. Food, the TV host produced a number of food documentaries, including Man, Finds Food, Modern Marvels, and The Food That Built America, among many others.