(KRON) — Paqui has pulled its “One Chip Challenge” products from store shelves as officials continue to investigate the cause of death of a 14-year-old boy who ate one of the spicy chips hours before he died.
In a statement on its website, the chip company said the challenge is “intended for adults only,” and that the chip’s packaging has “clear and prominent labeling highlighting the chip is not for children or anyone sensitive to spicy foods or who has food allergies, is pregnant or has underling health conditions.”
Paqui says it has seen an increase in teens and other individuals not heeding the warnings on the packaging.
“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,” the company said.
Refunds will be offered on all single-serve One Chip Challenge products, Paqui said.
Last week, a Massachusetts teen reportedly died after eating one of the chips as part of a social media challenge. The teen’s cause of death has not yet been determined, according to the Boston Globe. The statement on Paqui’s website makes no mention of the death.
Last year, multiple students at a middle school in Dublin, California, were sent home after participating in the One Chip Challenge. The students suffered “adverse reactions to this product” at the time, according to the Dublin Unified School District.
Paqui’s One Chip Challenge chips are made with two of the spiciest peppers known in the world: the Carolina Reaper Pepper and the Scorpion Pepper. Both peppers can top out at Scoville levels of over 2,000,000.
Here, in Oklahoma, Piedmont Public Schools sent a letter warning families of the dangers of the chip challenge.
We are writing to address a serious concern within our student community: the Paqui One Chip Challenge. This challenge has already resulted in emergency responders being called to our schools twice within two days. While some challenges may appear harmless, the Paqui One Chip Challenge presents significant risks to our students’ well-being…
…Given the serious health and safety concerns this challenge poses, we are implementing an immediate ban on Paqui hot chips across all Piedmont school campuses and facilities. Any student found in possession of this chip, those who supply it to others, or those who participate in the challenge on school grounds, buses, or at school-related events will face disciplinary action, potentially including suspension…
Please discuss the risks associated with participating in such challenges with your student. Encourage them to make informed decisions and resist peer pressure. Stress the importance of prioritizing safety over social media trends.Piedmont Public Schools letter to parents/guardians