Deadly ‘One Chip Challenge’ to Be Pulled from Stores


( – Viral challenges are all the rage in the new day and age. Sometimes, like with the ice bucket challenge, they’re for a good cause. Other times, these competitions are very, very dangerous. A company has now pulled its product from shelves after a teenager died.

In late August, 14-year-old Harris Wolobah died after participating in the “One Chip Challenge.” That’s when the teenager consumed a chip made by the company Paqui. The single chip comes in a box, and a label states it’s made with Naga Viper and Carolina Reaper peppers.

Harris’ mom, Lois Wolobah, told the local CBS affiliate that she picked her son up from Doherty Memorial High School in Worcester, Massachusetts, after a call from the school nurse. The nurse said her son fainted after he ate the spicy nacho chip. His mother said he passed out again after he went home. His parents then took him to the emergency room where he later died.

Amos Wolobah, Harris’ father, said he didn’t have any preexisting conditions that they knew about. The teen’s parents believe the chip contributed to his death, saying he was a healthy kid who played basketball before he suddenly died.

Paqui responded to the news of the teenager’s death by pulling its product from shelves. The company said it has seen an increased number of kids and others who are ignoring the warning labels on its packaging. For example, the company stated on its website that the “One Chip Challenge” was “intended for adults only.” That packaging for the chip has warning labels that state it “is not for children or anyone sensitive to spicy foods or who has food allergies, is pregnant, or has underlying health conditions.”

An autopsy was performed on Harris after he died, but the results will likely take weeks. The National Capital Poison Center warned that food items containing capsaicin, the compound that makes chili peppers spicy, can cause esophageal damage and even heart attacks.

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