Thursday, June 20, 2024
Health

Teen dies from spicy chip

Teen Dies from Eating Spicy Chip, Medical Examiner Confirms

Boy, 14, Dies Suddenly After Viral 'One Chip Challenge,' Family Says |  Inside Edition

New York — The chief medical examiner’s office in Massachusetts has determined that Harris Wolobah, a teenager who ate a tortilla chip containing a high concentration of a chili pepper compound, died of a heart attack last September.

Wolobah, who had a congenital heart defect, was participating in Paqui’s ultra-spicy “One Chip Challenge” when he consumed the chip, seasoned with Carolina Reaper and Naga Viper peppers.

14-year-old died of heart attack after participating in a spicy tortilla  chip challenge | News | waaytv.com

Following Wolobah’s death, Paqui voluntarily pulled the product, packaged in a coffin-shaped box, from shelves. On Thursday, the chief medical examiner confirmed to CNN that Wolobah died of cardiopulmonary arrest caused by a high capsaicin concentration. Capsaicin is the spicy chemical found in chili peppers.

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The Carolina Reaper ranks just below pepper spray on the Scoville scale, which measures the heat of peppers. The Naga Viper, with about 1.2 million heat units, is also much hotter than a jalapeño pepper, which has about 5,000 heat units.

A Paqui spokesperson told CNN that the “One Chip Challenge” was intended for adults, with clear labels indicating it was not for children or those sensitive to spicy foods or with underlying health conditions. Due to increased reports of teens ignoring these warnings, the product was discontinued out of caution. Paqui’s website offers refunds for uneaten 2023 challenge chips.

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