"The 360" shows you diverse perspectives on the day's top stories and debates.
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What's the One Chip Challenge?
The "One Chip Challenge" was started by Paqui, the Texas-based company making ultra-spicy tortilla chips. It's a subsidiary of Hershey.
The challenge involves eating one of Paqui's single-serving, individually wrapped, spicy tortilla chips.
According to the company's website, the "One Chip Challenge" chip is seasoned with Carolina Reaper and Naga Viper peppers — two of the spiciest peppers currently available.
On the Scoville scale, used to measure the "hotness" of a pepper by measuring the amount of capsaicin, the Carolina Reaper measures in at around 1.7 million units, and the Naga Viper pepper at 1.4 million. For comparison, popular jalapeño peppers measure in between 2,500 and 8,000 Scoville units, making the Carolina Reaper about 212 times hotter on the low-end.
The challenge first went viral on social media in recent years, when TikTok and YouTube creators would film themselves attempting the challenge, and in most cases, scrambling to find relief in things like milk, water or ice cream. This summer, the company released a new version of the chip, which some said was spicier.
"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," the company now says on its website.
However, despite the warnings, the extra-spicy chip was still getting into the hands of youth.
Why are people talking about it?
On Sept. 1, a teenager from Massachusetts died from what his parents blame on the "One Chip Challenge," the American Press reported.
Harris Wolobah's family said he ate the extremely spicy tortilla chip. According to the AP, "police said they were called to the home on Sept. 1 and found Wolobah 'unresponsive and not breathing.'" He was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after.
AP reported Wolobah is being remembered as a "basketball-loving 10th grader," while his parents "await the results of an autopsy to determine what killed him."
Though results might take weeks, Paqui has recalled the product from all retailers. On its website, Paqui said it triggered the recall "out of an abundance of caution," in part.
"We have seen an increase in teens and other individuals not heeding these warnings," it said of their adults-only label on the product.
"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."
What are Canadian officials doing about it?
The company's recall prompted a public notice from Health Canada.
The federal agency said the product "is being recalled from the marketplace due to reported adverse reactions," and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation.
In the meantime, it said the CFIA "is verifying that industry is removing recalled products from the marketplace."
It also advises those who already have the product to throw it out or return it to the place of purchase.
Most people can't tolerate that spiciness
"Some people are naturally more tolerant of spice because of genetics. They are just born with fewer receptors for capsaicin, which gives them a built-in tolerance for heat.
"Most people aren’t used to that level of heat and are going from zero to 100 when they do something like the ‘One Chip Challenge,’ where you eat an extremely spicy tortilla chip... It's like putting a bomb in your stomach if you’re not prepared for it," said Dr. Allan Capin for the Cleveland Clinic.
Glamorization of dangerous challenges
"You see a lot of likes or comments (indicating) social status or popularity from these challenges, but you don't see a lot of the negative consequences — like the trips to the E.R. or other injuries," associate professor of psychology at Florida International University Elisa Trucco told CTV.
Educating children against harm
"The chip is responsible in our eyes for whatever took place, because (Harris Wolobah) was a healthy kid.
"The conversation now is about the chip, but there will be other challenges coming and we want to make sure children know they shouldn't be participating in anything that could put them in harm's way," the CBC heard from Douglas Hill, who runs Wolobah's former basketball league.
The risk is not worth it
"This One Chip Challenge is yet another reminder that just because someone challenges you to do something doesn’t necessarily mean that it is safe to do. There's very little to gain from completing such a challenge except for maybe the entertainment of others. At the same time, while many people can get through a challenge without permanent damage, there can be the risk of more serious problems — really serious problems," wrote Bruce Y. Lee in Forbes.