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‘One chip’ social media challenge puts 3 teens in hospital

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 6:13 AM PST
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LODI, Calif. (KMAX/KOVR) - Some parents are up in arms about a tortilla chip being sold and marketed as the “One Chip Challenge.”

For about $20, you can buy a single chip, and you’re supposed to share your reaction to eating it.

It landed some California high school students in the hospital.

“A lot of kids follow their peers, even if they don’t know what it is. They don’t know the consequence,” mother Elena Holvo said.

The dare, created by chip company Paqui, asks people to eat a single chip covered in hot sauce and peppers. The challenge is concerning to parents.

At least nine students from Lodi High School did the challenge and got sick. Three of the students were sent to the hospital.

The chip is made with Carolina Reapers and Scorpion peppers.

“Those two peppers have been rated as two million Scoville units, and jalapeño is somewhere around 5,000, so they are about 400 times hotter than a jalapeño,” pediatrician Dr. Bret Christiansen said.

Christiansen said symptoms include feeling burning or pain throughout your digestive tract.

“It can be pretty severe after a short time, similar to a reaction like an asthmatic might have with bronchial spasms, and if they have persistent vomiting, they could need IV hydration or medications to stop the vomiting,” he said.

The school’s principal has banned the chip on campus. Students caught with it could be sent home for the day.

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