Teen Died After Eating Spicy Tortilla Chip In Social Media Challenge!

Teen Died After Eating Spicy Tortilla Chip
Teen Died After Eating Spicy Tortilla Chip

Tragedy struck after a teen took part in a social media challenge involving a spicy tortilla chip. The unexpected incident has sparked shock and concern across online platforms. Let’s delve into the details of this unfortunate event and explore the impact it’s having on social media users everywhere.

Teen Died After Eating Spicy Tortilla Chip

Autopsy results, obtained by The Associated Press, reveal that a Massachusetts teenager who took part in a spicy tortilla chip challenge on social media passed away due to consuming a significant amount of chili pepper extract.

Additionally, the autopsy showed that the teen had a congenital heart defect. Harris Wolobah, a 10th grader from Worcester, tragically died on September 1, 2023, after consuming the Paqui chip as part of the manufacturer’s “One Chip Challenge.”

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Harris Wolobah, and our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time,” stated Paqui, a Texas-based subsidiary of the Hershey Co., in a statement released on Thursday. Attempts to reach Harris’ family through a listed phone number were unsuccessful, and messages were left by The Associated Press for comment with family friends.

According to the autopsy report from the Chief Office of the Medical Examiner, Harris passed away from cardiopulmonary arrest “after consuming a food substance with a high concentration of capsaicin.” Capsaicin is the compound responsible for the spicy heat in chili peppers.

Teen Died After Eating Spicy Tortilla Chip
Teen Died After Eating Spicy Tortilla Chip

The autopsy findings revealed that Harris had cardiomegaly, indicating an enlarged heart, as well as a congenital defect known as “myocardial bridging of the left anterior descending coronary artery.”

Although the autopsy implies that a pre-existing heart condition likely heightened Harris’s susceptibility to the adverse effects of the chili pepper extract, Dr. Haider explained that individuals without underlying risk factors can also face severe heart issues from consuming excessive capsaicin.

Both Udelson and Haider spoke in broad terms; neither had any involvement in Harris’s specific case.

Harris’s cause of death was established on February 27, and a death certificate was issued to the Worcester city clerk’s office on March 5, as confirmed by Elaine Driscoll, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

The Paqui chip, available for approximately $10 per piece, was packaged in foil within a coffin-shaped box. The packaging included a warning stating that the chip was designed for the “vengeful pleasure of intense heat and pain.” It cautioned that the chip was intended for adult consumption only and should be kept away from children.

The challenge was about eating the Paqui chip and seeing how long you could last without eating anything else or drinking water. Many people bought the chip because they saw videos on social media of people, including kids, trying the challenge.

These videos showed people opening the package, eating the chips, and then reacting to the spiciness. Some people in the videos were gagging, coughing, and asking for water.

Eating really spicy food has been a thing for a long time. There are contests where people eat hot peppers, and some restaurants have challenges where you get recognized if you finish a super spicy dish. People all over the world challenge each other to eat really spicy foods, and some experts think it’s because they like the excitement of competing and taking risks.

A YouTube show named “Hot Ones” gained popularity online a few years back by featuring videos of celebrities trying spicy chicken wings. At the same time, restaurants all across the country have been hosting in-person challenges. These include Buffalo Wild Wings’ “Blazin’ Challenge” and Wing King’s “Hell Challenge” in Las Vegas.

In both challenges, customers who are 18 or older can try to eat a specific number of wings covered in extremely spicy sauce within a set time without drinking or eating anything else. Chili pepper eating contests are also frequently held worldwide.

The passing of Harris prompted alerts from Massachusetts officials and doctors, who advised that consuming extremely spicy foods could lead to unforeseen outcomes.

Ever since the trend of eating the chip became popular, poison control centers have cautioned that its concentrated content might trigger allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeats, and in severe cases, heart attacks or strokes.

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Alex Hoffman-Ellis is a nerd who love technology and computers. He has been building computers for over 5 years now, and have always loved the challenge of learning how to make them faster, better, and more efficient. He's here to share his insights on these as a journalist, a designer and a technologist with love for writing and tech stuff. Words from Alex Hoffman: “Technology is best when it brings people together.”