'One Chip Challenge' Chip Pulled Off Store Shelves After Teenager Dies

Worcester, Massachusetts teen Harris Wolobah passed on Friday. "I hope, I pray to God that no parents will go through what I'm going through," his mother told media.

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UPDATED 9/8, 11:27 p.m. ET: A family in San Francisco who believed their sixth grader was poisoned found out he actually participated in the "One Chip Challenge" which led to his sickness.

According to a report from CBS News, the child started breathing heavily and began vomiting after eating the chip. The boy's family received a call from the school that their son had been poisoned and chaos ensued.

"All these things are going through my head: 'Who poisoned him? Who could've given him something like that?'" John Pedigo, the boy's father said. "The administrator said he participated in the One Chip Challenge and I was like, 'You've got to be kidding me. Is that what this is?'"

The boy explained that things turned scary not long after he consumed the product. "When I ate the chip, it was really spicy and all. When it was gone, I was fine, then I was sick, I was in the office and my stomach started hurting, my hands were stuck in (one) position," the child said. "I couldn't move them. I could barely open them up. It felt like they weren't even my hands."

The family is fortunate their boy made it through the ordeal. A 14-year-old boy from Massachusetts recently passed away after eating the chip.

"I would just want to spread awareness to other parents who might see this stuff or hear their kids talking about it or see the TikTok stuff and make (them) aware that it's not for kids," Pedigo said.

UPDATED 9/7, 2:36 p.m. ET: The "One Chip Challenge" will no longer be available for purchase as it has been removed from stores this week. Paqui, the company behind the viral challenge announced on Thursday that it is pulling its product from store shelves following the sudden death of a Massachusetts teenager who died on Sept. 1 after allegedly ingesting the chip.

Paqui is now offering refunds for anyone who has purchased its single-serve chip and has added a disclaimer to its website warning that the chip is intended for adult consumption only.

"The Paqui one chip challenge is intended for adults only, with clear and prominent labeling highlighting the chip is not for children or anyone sensitive to spicy foods or who has food allergies, is pregnant or has underlying health conditions," reads a statement on the company's website.

It continues, "We have seen an increase in teens and other individuals not heeding these warnings. As a result, while the product continues to adhere to food and safety standards, out of an abundance of caution, we are actively working with our retailers to remove the product from shelves."

See original story below.

A Massachusetts teenager tragically passed away, and his family suspects it was due to complications from participating in the viral "One Chip Challenge."

The "One Chip Challenge" involves eating an extremely spicy tortilla chip, claimed to be the spiciest in the world, and enduring the heat without consuming anything to relieve it. The chip, produced by Paqui, comes in a coffin-shaped container with explicit warnings to keep it away from children, restrict consumption to adults, and avoid it if sensitive to spicy food or allergens. Paqui's website suggests seeking medical assistance if experiencing "difficulty breathing, fainting, or extended nausea."

14-year-old Harris Wolobah from Worcester allegedly ate one of the chips given to him by a classmate at Doherty Memorial High School on Friday, Sept. 1. Harris' mother, Lois Walobah, told NBC10 Boston that the school nurse said he experienced a bad stomach ache as a result. The student was sent home with family that day.

Doherty Memorial Highschool mourns the loss of sophomore, Harris Wolobah.
Please consider donating to the family at the link below. All donations go directly to funeral expenses. ❤️ #DhighStrong https://t.co/1fp1o8XgBe

— Doherty Highlander Football (@DohertyFootball) September 3, 2023
Twitter: @DohertyFootball

The sophomore seemed to be better when he got home from school but suddenly passed out later that afternoon before heading to basketball tryouts. Harris was rushed to the hospital and sadly pronounced dead there.

“It is with a heavy heart I share that we lost a rising star, Harris Wolobah, who was a sophomore scholar at Doherty Memorial High School," said Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Rachel Monárrez in a statement. "As a mother and educator, I cannot imagine how hard this is on his family, friends and teachers. My heart goes out to all who knew and loved him."

"I hope, I pray to God that no parents will go through what I'm going through," said Lois Walobah to CBS News. "I don't want to see anybody hurting the way I'm hurting."

Harris' father Amos insists he had no pre-existing conditions to their knowledge, describing him as a healthy basketball player without any known allergies.

"We've been having sleepless nights," said Amos. "He's not going to come back."

The Worcester police are investigating the circumstances surrounding Harris' death, with autopsy results still pending. It remains unclear if criminal activity is involved. Harris' mother believes that he should have been taken to the hospital instead of being sent home and wants to raise awareness about the dangers of such challenges.

The family has created a GoFundMe looking to “raise enough funds to alleviate the burden of funeral expenses for his parents and siblings during this incredibly difficult time.” 

So far 538 donors have raised $26,597 of a $30,000 goal.

The "One Chip Challenge" has been a social media trend for some time. Per Paqui's website, the chip does not maintain an official Scoville rating but the seasoning uses two of the hottest peppers available: the Carolina Reaper Pepper and Naga Viper Pepper, which are about 1.7 million Scoville units and 1.4 million units, respectively.

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