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US Teen Dies After Eating Ultra-Spicy Chip in Challenge

Photo : AP

Fourteen-year-old Harris Wolobah, residing in Massachusetts, tragically passed away after consuming an ultra-spicy chip as part of Paqui's "One Chip Challenge." The incident, which occurred last September, was only recently attributed to the consumption of the spicy chip. Harris had a congenital heart defect, making him particularly vulnerable.

Reports from CNN reveal that Harris took on the challenge involving a tortilla chip seasoned with the Carolina Reaper pepper and the Naga Viper pepper. These peppers contain high concentrations of capsaicin, the compound responsible for their spiciness. The chief medical examiner's office concluded that Harris suffered from cardiopulmonary arrest due to ingesting a food substance with a significant capsaicin concentration.

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Paqui, the company behind the challenge, clarified that the activity was designed for adults and featured explicit labeling to caution against consumption by children or individuals sensitive to spicy foods or with underlying health issues.

Capsaicin, the spicy compound in peppers, is known for its potency. The Carolina Reaper Pepper, used in the challenge, ranks just below pepper spray on the Scoville scale, which measures the heat of peppers. Similarly, the Naga Viper pepper boasts approximately 1.2 million heat units on the scale, far surpassing the heat level of a jalapeno pepper.

Harris's tragic demise underscores the importance of caution, particularly for individuals with underlying health conditions, when participating in such challenges.

May 18, 2024 4:07 p.m. 421

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