Paqui Confirms 'One Chip Challenge' Is Officially Discontinued, Responds to Teen's Death After Eating the Spicy Chip

A spokesperson for Paqui confirmed with PEOPLE that the product, which contained Carolina Reaper and Naga Viper peppers, is off shelves

<p>Sarah Dussault/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty</p> One Chip Challenge

Sarah Dussault/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty

One Chip Challenge

The "One Chip Challenge" is discontinued.

A spokesperson for Paqui confirmed with PEOPLE that the product was taken off shelves. It previously inspired a viral trend on social media where people would eat the spicy chip containing Carolina Reaper and Naga Viper peppers.

In September 2023, Harris Wolobah, a sophomore at Doherty Memorial High School in Massachusetts, died from consuming a high level of chili pepper extract, according to the Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The high schooler participated in Paqui's One Chip Challenge on Sept. 1, according to CBS News' WBZ.

In a statement to PEOPLE, a Paqui spokesperson shared condolences after the boy’s cause of death was revealed on May 16.

“We were and remain deeply saddened by the death of Harris Wolobah and extend our condolences to his family and friends,” the statement read. “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. We saw increased reports of teens and other individuals not heeding these warnings. ”

Related: Cause of Death Revealed for Teen Who Died After ‘One Chip Challenge’

<p>GoFundMe</p> Harris Wolobah


Harris Wolobah

In response to the increase of kids participating in the "One Chip Challenge," Paqui decided to remove it from shelves in September, the spokesperson added.

“As a result, while the product adhered to food safety standards, out of an abundance of caution, we worked with retailers to voluntarily remove the product from shelves in September 2023, and the One Chip Challenge has been discontinued,” the statement concluded.

A Paqui spokesperson did not respond to PEOPLE's request to clarify when the product was permanently discontinued but confirmed that it currently is.

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Lois Wolobah, Harris’ mother, told WBZ that she received a call from the school nurse on Sept. 1 and was notified that he fainted after eating the chip. Family members then picked up Harris and drove him home before discovering him unconscious by 4:30 p.m., per the outlet.

Lois told NBC-10 Boston that they rushed Harris to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Wolobah's exact cause of death was deemed a cardiopulmonary arrest “in the setting of recent ingestion of food substance with high capsaicin concentration.” It was not confirmed that the chip was the source of the capsaicin. 

The medical examiner did determine that the high schooler had an enlarged heart and a congenital heart defect. His family was not aware of the condition at the time of his death, which is not uncommon with cardiomegaly, according to the NIH.

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Read the original article on People.