The maker of an extremely spicy tortilla chip sold as the One Chip Challenge and popularized as a dare on social media is pulling the product after the family of a Massachusetts teenager blamed the stunt for his death.
The cause of Harris Wolobah’s death last Friday hasn’t been determined and an autopsy was still pending as of Thursday, but the 14-year-old’s family blames the challenge. Since his death, the Texas-based manufacturer, Paqui, has asked retailers to stop selling the individually wrapped chips — a step 7-Eleven has already taken.
The One Chip Challenge chip sells for about $10 and comes wrapped in a sealed foil pouch that is enclosed in a coffin-shaped cardboard box. The package warns that the chip is made for the “vengeful pleasure of intense heat and pain,” is intended for adults and should be kept out of reach of children.
Paqui, a subsidiary of The Hershey Company, said in a statement posted on its website Thursday that it was “deeply saddened by the death” of Wolobah.
“We have seen an increase in teens and other individuals not heeding these warnings,” the company said. “As a result, while the product continues to adhere to food safety standards, out of abundance of caution, we are actively working with retailers to remove the product from shelves.”
Authorities in Massachusetts have also responded to the death by warning parents about the challenge, which is is popular on social media sites such as TikTok. Scores of people, including children, post videos of themselves unwrapping the packa