The manufacturer behind the viral One Chip Challenge announced that it would be removing the ultra-spicy tortilla chips from retail stores in the wake of the sudden death of a teenager after eating the fiery snack food.
Last week, a Massachusetts teen died after eating a One Chip Challenge snack. As TheBlaze previously reported, 14-year-old Harris Wolobah participated in the One Chip Challenge, a popular internet trend of people eating a super spicy tortilla chip made by Paqui. The challenge is to eat the peppery chip, but to hold out from eating or drinking anything to douse the spiciness of the popular snack food. The challenge has existed since 2016.
Wolobah allegedly consumed the spicy chip while at Doherty High School in Worcester last Friday. The sophomore high school student went to the nurse after a severe stomachache. The boy was picked up by his mother and taken home.
Later that day, the teenager was found unconscious at home and was rushed to the hospital – where he died suddenly.
The teen’s official cause of death has not been confirmed, and the results of an autopsy by the Massachusetts Medical Examiner’s Office aren’t expected for a few weeks.
The boy’s father, Amos Wolobah, said his son had “no pre-existing condition” to his knowledge.
Following the sudden death of the teen, Paqui issued a statement to WBZ-TV: “We are deeply saddened by the death of Harris Wolobah and express our condolences to the family. While the Paqui One Chip Challenge is intended for adults only, we have seen an increase in teen usage of the product.”
The snack food purveyor announced that it was removing the One Chip Challenge chips from stores.
“We care about all of our consumers and have made the decision to remove the product from shelves,” a Paqui spokesperson said on Thursday. “The product’s label clearly states it is not for children or anyone sensitive to spicy foods or who has food allergies, is pregnant, or has underlying health conditions. We are actively working with our retailers and are offering refunds for any purchases of our single-serve one chip challenge product.”
Customers looking for a refund for the product can call 1-866-528-6848.
The One Chip Challenge tortilla chips are made of two of the hottest peppers in the world: the Carolina Reaper and the Naga Viper.
According to NBC News, “The spiciness of chili peppers is measured on the Scoville scale, which calculates the heat units in a given pepper. Carolina Reapers score around 1.7 million Scoville heat units and Naga Viper peppers around 1.4 million. A jalapeño pepper, by contrast, rates up to 8,500 Scoville heat units.”
The chips are wrapped individually and sold in packaging shaped like a coffin with a skull on the front of the box.
On Wednesday, six elementary school students in Florida needed medical attention after coming in contact with the One Chip Challenge snacks.
D’Anton Patrick told WPTV that his 12-year-old son purchased One Chip Challenge snacks at a Walgreens in Boynton Beach, Florida. The boy’s mother found them and threw them in the garbage. However, his 10-year-old daughter retrieved them from the garbage and brought them to her elementary school.
She shared the spicy snack with fellow students at Forest Park Elementary School. After coming in contact with the One Chip Challenge, six children required medical attention at the school.
Patrick’s daughter was suspended from school for a week.
Paqui is owned by Amplify Snack Brands – which was purchased by the Hershey Company for $1.6 billion in 2018, according to PennLive.
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