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What Happened to the Teen Who Died After the 'One Chip Challenge'

14-Year-Old Harris Wolobah Dies After Taking Paqui's 'One Chip Challenge

By Sarah DanielPublished about a month ago 3 min read

A 14-year-old boy, Harris Wolobah, died from consuming a high level of chili pepper extract during Paqui's "One Chip Challenge."

Chip Challenge Leads to Tragedy

The cause of death was cardiopulmonary arrest, but the examiner couldn't confirm the chip's source. Wolobah had an enlarged heart and congenital heart defect, which is not uncommon with cardiomegaly.

“We were and remain deeply saddened by the death of Harris Wolobah and extend our condolences to his family and friends," a representative for Paqui tells following the autopsy news.

"Paqui’s One Chip Challenge was intended for adults only, with clear and prominent labeling highlighting that the product was not for children or anyone sensitive to spicy foods or with underlying health conditions."

The One Chip Challenge, a popular snack brand, was discontinued in September 2023 due to increased reports of teens not following warnings. The product, which contained Carolina Reaper and Naga Viper peppers, was voluntarily removed from shelves.

A social media trend caused some children to vomit

Tragic Outcome After School Incident

Harris' mother, Lois Wolobah, told WBZ that she learned that her son had fainted after consuming the chip when she got a call from the school nurse on September 1. After driving Harris home, family members found him comatose about 4:30 p.m., according to the site.

They hurried Harris to the hospital, where NBC-10 Boston was informed by Lois that he was declared dead.

An official from Worcester Public Schools verified to the publication that Harris was feeling under the weather when he went to the nurse's office, left, and passed on the same day.

As Amos Wolobah, the boy's father, stated to WBZ, his son had "no pre-existing condition."

"I pray to God that no parent goes through what I'm going through," Lois stated to WBZ. "I want to save other people from hurting the way I am. My son is someone I miss terribly, I really do."

Harris, a high school sophomore, was described as intelligent, quirky, and talented by a GoFundMe post. Paqui, a company that sold the One Chip Challenge product, removed it from stores after Harris' death, urging consumers to consume the entire chip before consumption.

Paqui has removed its One Chip Challenge product due to an increase in minors consuming it, including Harris, despite the product's warning.

The company is working with retailers and offering refunds for purchases, stating it is not suitable for children, those sensitive to spicy foods, or those with food allergies.

FAQs

What was the "One Chip Challenge"?

The "One Chip Challenge" involved eating a single extremely spicy tortilla chip, containing Carolina Reaper and Naga Viper peppers, intended for adult consumers. This challenge was popularized on social media.

Who was Harris Wolobah?

Harris Wolobah was a 14-year-old student from Massachusetts who tragically passed away after participating in the "One Chip Challenge."

What caused Harris Wolobah's death?

Harris Wolobah died from complications after ingestion of a high-capsaicin chip, causing cardiopulmonary arrest and underlying congenital heart defect and cardiomegaly, though the exact link remains unclear.

What was the reaction of the chip's manufacturer?

Following the incident, Paqui, the manufacturer of the chip, pulled the "One Chip Challenge" from shelves, citing an increase in reports of misuse among teenagers and concerns over safety despite clear warnings that it was for adults only.

Were there specific warnings about the chip?

The packaging of the "One Chip Challenge" included explicit warnings that it was not for children, anyone sensitive to spicy foods, or individuals with certain health conditions.

What legal actions were taken following the incident?

There has been no specific mention of legal actions, but the family has called for the chip to be banned, and investigations were conducted by local authorities.

Has the product been permanently discontinued?

Yes, the "One Chip Challenge" was discontinued by Paqui in response to the incident and general concerns about its safety for minors, despite its intended adult audience.

What symptoms did other individuals report after the challenge?

Some participants, primarily children, reported severe reactions like vomiting, intense sweating, and significant discomfort, which raised broader safety concerns.

How has the community responded to this incident?

The community and the family have expressed profound grief and concern, highlighting the risks associated with such social media challenges, especially among young people.

What safety measures are suggested for similar challenges?

It is highly recommended that such challenges be avoided by children, individuals with health sensitivities, and without proper understanding of the risks involved. Companies are urged to enforce clearer guidelines and control distribution to prevent misuse.

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About the Creator

Sarah Daniel

Writer, blogger, activist. Blog, Researcher & Analyst and Content Creator at Self-Employment.

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    Sarah DanielWritten by Sarah Daniel

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