A popular TikTok challenge started by a chip company has allegedly sent three high schoolers to the hospital.
The tortilla chip brand Paqui launched the #OneChipChallenge in 2021. Paqui chips are each infused with real peppers like jalapenos, ghost peppers and chiles. But for the #OneChipChallenge Paqui made released a line of chips with Carolina Reapers and Scorpion peppers. The ultra-hot chip is now under fire for making people sick.
What is the #OneChipChallenge?
The Carolina Reaper is the spiciest pepper in the world with 1,569,300 Scoville heat units per pepper, while the Scorpion pepper is not far behind with 1,463,700 Scoville heat units per pepper.
Paqui’s #OneChipChallenge is deceptively simple. All you have to do is eat one of Carolina Reaper chips and wait at least an hour before consuming food or drink to get relief.
“My whole body is hot. It’s been 10 minutes. I’m cooking up,” he said before bolting into his kitchen to chug milk straight from the bottle.
The #OneChipChallenge has dangerous consquences
Three teenagers from Lodi High school in Sacramento, Calif. were hospitalized after participating in the challenge. The students had intense reactions that required emergency care, while nine others became sick that same week. The Paqui chips have since been banned on Lodi’s campus.
Dr. Bret Christiansen told the Sacramento Bee that eating the chips can cause burning or pain in the digestive tract.
“It can be pretty severe after a short time, similar to a reaction like an asthmatic might have with bronchial spasms, and if they have persistent vomiting, they could need IV hydration or medications to stop the vomiting,” Dr. Christiansen said.
Paqui responds to #OneChipChallenge hospitalizations
“The Paqui #OneChipChallenge is notoriously hot, as our branding implies, and the product should be handled with extreme care,” the company said in a statement.
Adding, “Our #OneChipChallenge includes a safety disclaimer that it should not be ingested by individuals who are sensitive to spicy foods, allergic to peppers, nightshades, or capsaicin, or who are minors, pregnant or have medical conditions. If you experience any severe reactions or symptoms, please contact a medical professional immediately.”
The #OneChipChallenge has officially ended but when it comes to hot peppers like this you’re always consuming at your own risk.
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