Teen died from eating spicy chip as part of social media challenge

Teen died from eating spicy chip as part of social media challenge

An American teen who participated in a spicy tortilla chip challenge on social media died from ingesting a substance containing a high amount of the chilli pepper extract capsaicin, according to an autopsy report obtained by The Associated Press.

Harris Wolobah, a 10th grader from Massachusetts, died on September 1, 2023, after eating the chip.

He was found unresponsive by police who were called to his home, and brought to a hospital, where he died.

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The cause of death was listed as cardiopulmonary arrest “in the setting of recent ingestion of food substance with high capsaicin concentration”.

The report also noted that the teen had an enlarged heart and a congenital heart defect.

Wolobah’s mother said last year she believed the teenager died of complications from the One Chip Challenge, NBC10 reported.

It’s a craze linked to chip company, Paqui, which was pulled from shelves after the teen’s death.

The Texas-based manufacturer, Paqui, asked retailers to stop selling the individually wrapped chips and warned they were for adults only.

The One Chip Challenge chip sold for about US$10 ($15) and came wrapped in a sealed foil pouch enclosed in a coffin-shaped cardboard box.

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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.

The challenge was to eat it and then not drink or eat anything else for as long as possible.

Lois Walobah told NBC10 Boston that she was called to the school by a nurse and that her son had told him a classmate gave him the chip, leaving him with a bad stomach ache.

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He felt better after they got home, but at 4.30pm, when he was about to leave for basketball, his brother yelled that he’d passed out, she said, according to the website.

Harris was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The family has been waiting for the results of the autopsy.

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