Autopsy Confirms Teenager Died From Eating Incredibly Spicy Tortilla Chip

Autopsy Confirms Teenager Died From Eating Incredibly Spicy Tortilla Chip

An autopsy has confirmed that Harris Wolobah, a 14-year-old from Worcester, Massachusetts, died from cardiopulmonary arrest after consuming an extremely spicy tortilla chip known as the “One Chip Challenge.” The tragic event occurred on September 1, 2023, and has since prompted the chip manufacturer, Paqui, to remove the product from store shelves.

The autopsy report revealed that Wolobah’s death was due to cardiac arrest triggered by the high capsaicin concentration in the chip. It also noted that Wolobah had an enlarged heart and a congenital heart defect, which exacerbated the effects of the spicy challenge.


According to Harris’s mother, Lois Wolobah, her son began experiencing discomfort shortly after eating the chip at school. Although he initially seemed to improve after returning home, he was later found unconscious while preparing for basketball tryouts. Despite efforts to revive him at a nearby hospital, Harris could not be saved.

The Paqui brand, known for its extremely spicy snacks, has issued warnings on its website about the potential adverse effects of consuming the “One Chip Challenge,” which contains Carolina Reaper Pepper and Naga Viper Pepper. These warnings state that the product is intended for adults only and not for children or anyone with food allergies, underlying health conditions, or sensitivities to spicy foods.

In response to the tragedy, Worcester’s public school community has expressed deep condolences, mourning the loss of what they described as a “rising star.” Superintendent Rachel Monarrez acknowledged the profound impact on Harris’s family, friends, and educators.


The incident has sparked further scrutiny of the “One Chip Challenge,” which had gone viral last year. A high school student had previously shared a video on social media showing her hospitalization after attempting the challenge, highlighting the severe reactions some individuals can have to the product.

Paqui has responded to the incident by actively working with retailers to remove the product from shelves and offering refunds on their single-serve “One Chip Challenge” product. The company reiterated the importance of adhering to the product’s warnings and stated their commitment to consumer safety.

This tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers associated with viral challenges and the need for caution when consuming extremely spicy foods, particularly for individuals with underlying health conditions.