A bag of crisps being used for social media stunts has been pulled from the shelves in the US, following the death of a teenager.
Harris Wolobah, 14, from Massachusetts, died on Friday, officials said, following what his family suspect to be “complications” due to eating the One Chip Challenge, although results from a post-mortem have not yet been released.
The challenge, popular on social media, involves munching on supposedly one of the spiciest tortilla chips in the world, then bearing the heat for as long as possible before eating or drinking something else for relief.
The chip from US brand Paqui comes individually wrapped, and its website says it is made from two of the hottest chilli peppers in the world – the Carolina Reaper and Scorpion.
But Paqui is removing the snack from shelves in the US, following the teenager’s death.
A new disclaimer at the top of the website on Thursday said the challenge “is intended for adults only, with clear and prominent labelling 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”.
Paqui added: “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 safety standards, out of an abundance of caution, we are actively working with our retailers to remove the product from shelves.”
It also said it will offer refunds for people who have already bought the product.
Teen had bad stomach after eating snack, mother says
Harris Wolobah’s mother, Lois, told NBC10 Boston she was called to his school by a nurse on Friday and that her son had told him a classmate gave him the chip, leaving him with a bad stomach ache.
They went home but later that afternoon his brother yelled that Harris had passed out, she said.
He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Ms Wolobah said her son should have been sent to the hospital instead of home after going to the nurse’s office, and wants others to know about the chips to prevent further tragedies.
A crowdfunder set up in his name has raised more than £32,500 so far, which will help the family with funeral costs.