WORCESTER, Mass. -- The death of a Massachusetts teenager after his family said he ate an extremely spicy tortilla chip has led to an outpouring of concern about the social media challenge and prompted retailers to pull the product from their shelves at the manufacturer's request.
The family of Harris Wolobah held a vigil Friday, a week after his death on Sept. 1, to remember the basketball-loving 10th grader while they await the results of an autopsy.
Wolobah's family has blamed the One Chip Challenge for the teen's death.
The challenge calls for participants to eat an eponymously named chip and then see how long they can go without consuming other food and water. The family has declined interview requests.
People have been weighing in about their own experiences with the chip, which costs roughly $10 and comes individually wrapped in foil in a coffin-shaped box that warns, among other things, that it is made for the "vengeful pleasure of intense heat and pain," is intended for adults and should be kept out of the reach of children.
A 10-year-old Florida girl was suspended last week for bringing one to school, her father told West Palm Beach television station WPTV. Six children at Forest Park Elementary School needed medical attention after coming into contact with the chip Wednesday, according to the suspension letter sent to the girl's parents.
Massachusetts authorities posted a warning to parents about the challenge. And physicians cautioned that eating such spicy foods can have unintended consequences.
"You can have very mild symptoms like burning or tingling of the lips in the mouth, but you can also have more severe symptoms," like significant abdominal pain or nausea and vomiting, said Dr. Lauren Rice, the chief of pediatric emergency medicine at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.