Health Canada has mandated a recall of the popular Paqui brand “One Chip Challenge” snacks, owing to reported adverse reactions. The recall was initiated by the snack’s producer, Amplify Snack Brands Inc, following numerous episodes of consumers falling ill after consuming the product.
The recall action is tied with the recent death of a 14-year-old in Massachusetts, the cause of which is still under investigation. The parents of the deceased are attributing the death, which occurred on September 1, to the “One Chip Challenge.”
A representative for the Texas-based Paqui firm maintained that the One Chip Challenge is distributed in Canada in a very limited capacity. The One Chip Challenge involves a fiery snack made from Carolina Reaper and Naga Viper peppers. This high-intensity challenge, which requires participants to resist drinking or eating anything after consuming the spicy chip, has quickly gained notoriety on social media platforms.
The company’s online description clearly demarcates the snack as a product intended solely for adult consumption. The online disclaimer warns against consumption by children or anyone hypersensitive to spicy food, allergic individuals, those who are pregnant or possessing any underlying health conditions.
Expressing deep regret, the Paqui spokesperson offered condolences to Harris Wolobah’s family. The company has noticed that its warnings have gone unheeded lately, especially by teenagers. Consequently, even though the product complies with food safety norms, it is being withdrawn from retail stores as a precautionary measure. Consumers of the product are also being offered refunds.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is currently investigating food safety issues related to the product and may extend the recall to other products too. In a query regarding which Canadian stores sold the chip, the CFIA informed the press that they weren’t equipped to share that information on Friday night.
The CFIA further clarified that food safety investigations are multifaceted and necessitate several integral steps to determine the necessity and specifics of a food recall. In situations pertaining to potentially unsafe food, the CFIA acts swiftly to amass information and make informed decisions.