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US teen dies of cardiac arrest after consuming spicy chip as part of social media challenge, reveals autopsy report
Social Media Challenge
Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

US teen dies of cardiac arrest after consuming spicy chip as part of social media challenge, reveals autopsy report

| @indiablooms | 17 May 2024, 09:26 am

A 14-year-old has died of cardiac arrest in the USA after he took part in a social media challenge that dared people to eat extremely hot tortilla chip, media reports said.

The chief medical examiner’s office in Massachusetts has determined that a teenager who ate a tortilla chip containing a high concentration of a chemical compound found in chili peppers, reported CNN.

He reportedly died in September.

Harris Wolobah, who had a congenital heart defect, was attempting Paqui’s ultra-spicy “One Chip Challenge” when he ingested the tortilla chip seasoned with both the Carolina Reaper pepper and the Naga Viper pepper, CNN reported.

The chief medical examiner’s office on Thursday confirmed to CNN that Wolobah died of cardiopulmonary arrest after eating a food substance “with (a) high capsaicin concentration.” Capsaicin is the spicy, naturally occurring chemical in chili peppers.

Paqui said the challenge was meant for adults only.

“Paqui’s One Chip Challenge was intended for adults only, with clear and prominent labeling highlighting that the product was not for children or anyone sensitive to spicy foods or with underlying health conditions,” a Paqui spokesperson told CNN Thursday.

“We saw increased reports of teens and other individuals not heeding these warnings. As a result, while the product adhered to food safety standards, out of an abundance of caution, we worked with retailers to voluntarily remove the product from shelves in September 2023," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson further said the the “One Chip Challenge has been discontinued.”

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