The perilous ‘One Chip Challenge’ has raised alarm bells following the tragic demise of a teenage participant. In light of the incident, the product – an exceedingly spicy tortilla chip – has been abruptly removed from the markets in Canada and the United States.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is currently conducting a rigorous food safety investigation on the ‘One Chip Challenge’. The preliminary spark for this inquiry was the death of a 14-year-old teen from Massachusetts.
Although the decisive cause of death awaits formal autopsy findings, the victim’s parents have laid the blame squarely on the ‘One Chip Challenge’. This trending social media feat involves consuming a tortilla chip infused with Carolina Reaper and Naga Viper peppers, and resisting the urge to quench the burning sensation with water or other food for as long as possible.
Texas-based Paqui, the creator of the ‘One Chip Challenge,’ had maintained a very limited distribution in Canada, according to a company spokesperson. The product bears explicit labels cautioning that it is strictly for adults. It specifically warns against consumption by people with medical conditions, pregnancy, sensitivity to spicy foods, or allergies to its ingredients.
Expressing profound sorrow over the incident, the spokesperson said that the company sends out its condolences to the bereaved family of Harris Wolobah. They also acknowledged the recent uptick in the product’s usage among teenagers. In response, Paqui is proactively retracting the product from store shelves, purely as a precautionary measure. They also announced their intent to offer refunds to the product’s purchasers.
Citing the complexity of food safety investigations, a CFIA spokesperson refused to comment on which Canadian stores were selling the chip. The process involves many critical steps to ascertain if and what specific products will necessitate a recall. The agency is working with utmost urgency to gather information and make informed decisions in the regard of potentially unsafe food.