Autopsy confirms teenager died from cardiopulmonary arrest after eating incredibly spicy tortilla chip

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By James Kay

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Following the tragic death of a 14-year-old boy, an autopsy has revealed that he passed away after eating a spicy chip.

Harris Wolobah, a 14-year-old from Worcester, succumbed to cardiac arrest after consuming the intensely spicy tortilla chip known as the "One Chip Challenge".

The tragic incident occurred on September 1, 2023, prompting chip manufacturer Paqui to swiftly remove the product from store shelves in the wake of Wolobah's passing.

The autopsy report cited Wolobah's cause of death as cardiopulmonary arrest, occurring "in the setting of recent ingestion of food substance with high capsaicin concentration."

Harris Wolobah passed away aged 14. Credit: GoFundMe

Additionally, the medical examiner noted that Wolobah had an enlarged heart and a congenital heart defect, compounding the effects of the spicy challenge, per PEOPLE.

According to Harris's mother, Lois Wolobah, speaking to NBC 10 Boston, the teen began experiencing discomfort shortly after consuming the chip at school.

Although he initially seemed to improve upon returning home, he was discovered unconscious as he prepared to attend basketball tryouts.

Despite immediate efforts to seek medical assistance at a nearby hospital, Harris could not be revived.

The Paqui brand, responsible for the creation of the infamous chip, has issued warnings on its website regarding the potential adverse effects of consuming the snack, which features intensely spicy ingredients such as Carolina Reaper Pepper and Naga Viper Pepper.

The "One Chip Challenge" went viral last year. Credit: MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

In response to the tragic incident, Worcester's public school community mourns the loss of what they hailed as a "rising star" in Wolobah, per Boston 25.

Superintendent Rachel Monarrez expressed condolences, acknowledging the profound impact on Harris's family, friends, and educators.

Last year, one high schooler shared a video to social media showing her in the hospital after attempting the One Chip Challenge. The New York Post says she was bet $50 to eat the Paqui chip, and that it took several hours for medications to ease her stomach pain.

In response to Wolobah's passing, the company behind the hot chip issued a statement.

"The Paqui One Chip Challenge is intended for adults only, with clear and prominent labeling highlighting the chip is not for children or anyone sensitive to spicy foods or who has food allergies, is pregnant or has underlying health conditions," the company said in a statement at the top of its website.

The warnings as listed on the Paqui 'One Chip Challenge' website. Credit: Paqui

The statement added: "We have seen an increase in teens and other individuals not heeding these warnings. As a result, while the product continues to adhere to food safety standards, out of an abundance of caution, we are actively working with our retailers to remove the product from shelves.

"We are also offering refunds on our single-serve One Chip Challenge product."

Featured image credit: MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Autopsy confirms teenager died from cardiopulmonary arrest after eating incredibly spicy tortilla chip

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

Following the tragic death of a 14-year-old boy, an autopsy has revealed that he passed away after eating a spicy chip.

Harris Wolobah, a 14-year-old from Worcester, succumbed to cardiac arrest after consuming the intensely spicy tortilla chip known as the "One Chip Challenge".

The tragic incident occurred on September 1, 2023, prompting chip manufacturer Paqui to swiftly remove the product from store shelves in the wake of Wolobah's passing.

The autopsy report cited Wolobah's cause of death as cardiopulmonary arrest, occurring "in the setting of recent ingestion of food substance with high capsaicin concentration."

Harris Wolobah passed away aged 14. Credit: GoFundMe

Additionally, the medical examiner noted that Wolobah had an enlarged heart and a congenital heart defect, compounding the effects of the spicy challenge, per PEOPLE.

According to Harris's mother, Lois Wolobah, speaking to NBC 10 Boston, the teen began experiencing discomfort shortly after consuming the chip at school.

Although he initially seemed to improve upon returning home, he was discovered unconscious as he prepared to attend basketball tryouts.

Despite immediate efforts to seek medical assistance at a nearby hospital, Harris could not be revived.

The Paqui brand, responsible for the creation of the infamous chip, has issued warnings on its website regarding the potential adverse effects of consuming the snack, which features intensely spicy ingredients such as Carolina Reaper Pepper and Naga Viper Pepper.

The "One Chip Challenge" went viral last year. Credit: MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

In response to the tragic incident, Worcester's public school community mourns the loss of what they hailed as a "rising star" in Wolobah, per Boston 25.

Superintendent Rachel Monarrez expressed condolences, acknowledging the profound impact on Harris's family, friends, and educators.

Last year, one high schooler shared a video to social media showing her in the hospital after attempting the One Chip Challenge. The New York Post says she was bet $50 to eat the Paqui chip, and that it took several hours for medications to ease her stomach pain.

In response to Wolobah's passing, the company behind the hot chip issued a statement.

"The Paqui One Chip Challenge is intended for adults only, with clear and prominent labeling highlighting the chip is not for children or anyone sensitive to spicy foods or who has food allergies, is pregnant or has underlying health conditions," the company said in a statement at the top of its website.

The warnings as listed on the Paqui 'One Chip Challenge' website. Credit: Paqui

The statement added: "We have seen an increase in teens and other individuals not heeding these warnings. As a result, while the product continues to adhere to food safety standards, out of an abundance of caution, we are actively working with our retailers to remove the product from shelves.

"We are also offering refunds on our single-serve One Chip Challenge product."

Featured image credit: MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images