One Chip Challenge: Amazon and eBay pull spicy tortilla from UK shop

Amazon and eBay have removed a super-hot tortilla chip linked to the death of an American teenager from sale.

The parents of Harris Wolobah, 14, believe that the One Chip Challenge caused his death last week.

It was taken off shelves in the US, where it was widely sold, but imports from global sellers remained on-sale.

Amazon said it would remove the product from its sites in the US, Britain, Europe, the Middle East and Africa .

The online retailer also plans to contact any international buyers who’d recently bought the snack to inform them.

An eBay spokesperson said user safety was a “top priority” and it had removed sale listings.

“We are monitoring our site closely and will remove any other listings if they arise,” they added.

Harris’s official cause of death has not been confirmed, but his parents have called for the One Chip Challenge to be banned.

Snack-maker Paqui claims that the single tortilla, sold in a coffin-shaped box, contains a blend of “the hottest peppers available”.

Millions of people have watched YouTubers and TikTokers attempt the viral dare and their extreme reactions to it.

It’s thought the popularity of the challenge has inspired lots of teenagers to purchase the product, which carries a warning label, to try it for themselves.

An Amazon listing for the One Chip Challenge. To the left the product's box, with the red skull and its blue tongue, is visible. To the right, the title "Paqui One chip challenge 2022 1 pack 0.21 ounce" can be seen. The product has a 4.4 star rating from 17,426 ratings, according to the page. The price of £34.99 is below, along with details of the product such as the pack weigh (6g), and "Flavour: Chili"IMAGE SOURCE,AMAZON
Image caption,

The 2022 edition of the product was listed on sale via Amazon for £34.99 from a third-party seller

On Thursday, Paqui posted a statement on its website about its decision to remove stock from American stores.

The company said the challenge was “intended for adults only” and not for anyone with underlying health conditions or allergies.

But it said it had 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,” it said.

In a further statement sent to Newsbeat, a Paqui spokesperson said: “We are deeply saddened by the death of Harris Wolobah and express our condolences to the family.

“We care about all of our consumers and have made the decision to remove the product from shelves.”

They said the product’s label “clearly states” that it is not for children or those with sensitivity to spicy foods.

“We are actively working with our retailers and are offering refunds for any purchases of our single-serve one chip challenge product,” they added.

In the UK, safety and hygiene regulator the Food Standards Agency (FSA), told Newsbeat it’s working to find out where the product is sold.

Tina Potter, from the FSA, said: “So far we have not received any reports of illness here.”

Eating chillis and spicy food is considered safe in normal situations, depending on your tolerance.

But the body’s reaction to very spicy food can mimic its response to burns and cause symptoms like sweating.

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