Authorities Are Warning People About the “One Chip Challenge”

The “One Chip Challenge” was an Internet challenge in which participants had to eat one extremely spicy Paqui Carolina Reaper chip and avoid eating or drinking anything afterwards. The challenge has been tried by celebrities and social media personalities alike, and it garnered criticism for negative associated health effects. Recently, 10th-grader Harris Wolobah, from Worcester, Mass., died after taking part in the social media challenge. He was discovered unresponsive at his home and rushed by police to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His death was ruled "cardiopulmonary arrest in the setting of recent ingestion of a food substance with high capsaicin concentration.” The 14-year-old had an enlarged heart and a congenital heart defect, which were negatively affected by the capsaicin. After Wolobah’s death, Paqui withdrew and discontinued the chip. The Paqui chip, sold individually for $10, came wrapped in foil in a coffin-shaped box containing the warning that it was intended for the “vengeful pleasure of intense heat and pain.” The warning noted that the chip was for adult consumption only and should be kept out of the reach of children. Despite the warning, children had no problem buying the chips, and there had been reports from around the country of teens who got sick after taking part in the chip-eating challenge. Officials recognize that even though the chips have been discontinued, there could still be some out there, which is why they are issuing the warning.