Paqui challenged people to try its $10 chip, dusted with Carolina Reaper chiles — the hottest in the world — and refrain from eating or drinking anything else for as long as possible.
A 14-year-old boy who attempted the viral social media challenge at his high school in Worcester, Massachusetts died last week, The Washington Post reported. Now, the company says it’s “actively working” with retailers to remove the product from shelves.
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Harris Wolobah, a sophomore, fainted after eating the chip at school. His mother picked him up, and a few hours later, he passed out at home and was taken to the emergency room, where he died, the boy’s parents told WBZ.
Wolobah’s parents told the TV station that Paqui’s chip was to blame for their son’s death and called for the product to be banned.
The boy’s autopsy is complete, but the state medical examiner likely won’t determine the cause of death for weeks, Tim McGuirk, spokesperson for the state executive office of public safety and security, told The Post.
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Paqui is owned by Amplify Snack Brands, which was purchased by The Hershey Company for $1.6 billion in 2018, PennLive reported. In addition to pulling the product from shelves, Paqui is offering refunds to those who purchased the chip, per the company’s site.