Competitor Dies During Taco-Eating Contest

Dana Hutchings, 41, was taking part in a taco-eating competition when he collapsed.

The contest was being held during a minor league baseball match at Chukchansi Park, in Fresno, California, on Tuesday.

During the season, every home game Tuesday, Fresno Grizzlies play as alter-ego team 'Fresno Tacos', and up to 30 taco trucks provide food for sepctators.

During an innings break, a taco eating competition also takes place.

During Tuesday's competitions, Hutchings collapsed and medical staff at the venue attempted CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.

He was taken to Fresno Community Regional Medical Centre but could not be saved.

Chukchansi Park in Fresno. Photo: AP

While it is believed Hutchings died from choking as medical staff at the hospital cleared food from his throat during treatement, an autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, coroner’s spokesman Tony Botti told The Fresno Bee.

It could take up to a month until the cause of death is known as the coroner waits for toxicology reports and reviews Hastings' medical history, Botti said.

The Freso Grizzlies offered its condolences for the "tragic incident" in a statement.

"We are devastated to learn that a fan that received medical attention following an event on Tuesday evening's game has passed away," said Derek Franks, Fresno Grizzlies President.

"The Fresno Grizzlies extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the family of Mr Hutchings."

The team said it would "work closely" with local authorities to provide information in relation to the event.

"The safety and security of our fans is our highest priority."

The Grizzlies also stressed the amateur eating was not a Major League Eating sanctioned event, or a qualifier for an MLE event.

'Taco Tuesday' will still go ahead on the next scheduled date, August 27, but there will be no competitive eating as part of the event.