‘Man vs. Food’ Star Adam Richman Nearly Died After Getting Infection in His Mustache

by Alex Falls

Food TV host Adam Richman has traveled the country many times over finding America’s best eats. He started tackling the most daunting challenges he could find in America’s eateries while hosting Man vs. Food. Most recently, he hosted Adam Eats the 80s on the History Channel.

But Richman once came extremely close to losing it all after contracting an infection in a mustache follicle. He recently detailed the scary situation during an appearance on the podcast Celebrity Catch Up: Life After That Thing I Did as reported by People.

“One of my mustache follicles just looked like a pimple…and it was just not healing well,” Richman said. “I’d gone to a doctor and then eventually my lip inflated like a banana — it was grotesque,” Richman said. “I remember I went to tear a piece of medical tape and I couldn’t get to my teeth.”

The TV personality was diagnosed with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection which “is caused by a type of staph bacteria that’s become resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections,” according to Mayo Clinic.

Once Richman went into the hospital, the medical scare quickly grew more and more serious. “At the moment, it never felt like, ‘You’re going to die.’ It was never something that they posited, but it was always sort of understood,” Richman said of the experience in the hospital. “I think they didn’t want to freak me out.”

Richman Recalls the Scary Situation

Not only was Richman faced with a potentially deadly situation, but he was also a long way from home. He was visiting Zurich, Switzerland for a Michelin event when the incident occurred in 2018. “Now imagine you’re over 5,000 miles from home,” Richman said. “Thank god, I was blessed with the financial ability to fly my mom over but I was quarantined.”

Doctors told Richman the infection on his upper lip happened to be located in a high-risk area on his face. It required immediate surgery to address it and a rigorous course of antibiotics. “I found out from maxillofacial surgeons that the area from the inside of your eyes to the outer corner of your lips, they call it the ‘danger triangle’ because there’s multiple opportunities for a surface infection to go intracranial,” Richman said.

As to where Richman contracted the infection from, he said even the doctors couldn’t pinpoint a source. “The doctor said it could have been anything from a water glass to a hotel towel, shaking someone’s hand and then invariably [touching my face],” Richman said. “There’s any number of ways.”

The experience left Richman appreciating life in a new light. “‘Gratitude is the attitude because fate, God, disease, the higher power of your choice can take it away just like that,” Richman said. “Every day above ground is a gift.”