Teenager With Heart Condition Dies After Eating Tortilla Chip

After taking part in a hot tortilla chip challenge on social media, a youngster from Massachusetts named Harris Wolobah died from a combination of a congenital heart condition and swallowing a huge amount of chili pepper extract.

After eating the food with a high capsaicin content, Harris had cardiac arrest, according to autopsy data from the chief medical examiner’s office. A congenital abnormality known as myocardial bridging of the left anterior descending coronary artery was also present, along with cardiomegaly, which means an enlarged heart.

Although Harris’s preexisting heart condition likely rendered him more susceptible to the chili pepper extract’s harmful effects, even those without preexisting conditions may have significant cardiac difficulties after consuming high doses of capsaicin, according to the postmortem data. According to Paqui, a Texas-based subsidiary of the Hershey Co., the chip has clear and prominent labeling highlighting that the product was not for children or anyone sensitive to spicy foods or with underlying health conditions.

After devouring the Paqui chip, competitors were to test their ability to fast for an extended period without eating or drinking anything else. It appears that the majority of the chip’s sales came from individuals sharing videos of themselves or their friends completing the challenge online. Unwrapping the chips, eating them, and then reacting to the heat were all shown in many films, which included children.

While “hot food challenges” have been around for a while, the creation and marketing of very spicy foodstuffs for these challenges is a relatively new phenomenon, made worse by social media. Videos of famous people’s reactions to hot wings made the YouTube series Hot Ones famous a few years ago.

Authorities and doctors in Massachusetts issued cautions after Harris’s death, stating that consuming spicy meals might have unforeseen repercussions. Poison control centers have been warning the public about the potential for severe allergic responses, respiratory problems, irregular heartbeats, and even cardiac arrest or stroke since the chip trend began.

The Hershey Paqui chip comes packaged in a coffin.