Extreme spice from One Chip Challenge on social media a worry for doctors

A TikTok challenge that has made waves in the past is back in the spotlight after a Massachusetts teenager who took part in the viral trend later died. His parents say the teen's death is partly the result of him eating an extremely spicy chip brand. 

The company behind the chip is Paqui. 

"All I know it’s one of the hottest chips in the world or something like that and they been going viral on TikTok," said Matthew Scofield, who plans to warn his daughter about the challenge.

It's also not new. The trend has ebbed and flowed on the internet over the past several months, including after cases where paramedics were called to help someone taking part in the challenge. But after the 14-year-old's death, doctors are asking kids to be extra careful around food with extreme spice.

"Anyone can have difficulties with this," said Dr. Kelly Levasseur, a pediatric emergency medicine doctor at Children's Hospital of Michigan.

Levasseur blames the key ingredient in the chips: Capsaicin. 

"We know that ingesting that, even one bite of that can cause some tingling of lips, it can cause burning in the throat, and it can even cause some stomach upset," she said.

But the dangers don't stop there as it also poses a health risk to the throat.

"It can kind of erode the tissue or wear away the tissue in the esophagus and we have a lot of blood vessels there and it can erode even into blood vessels," said Levasseur, "and that can cause severe issues, it can cause bleeding that’s uncontrolled."

For those taking on the One Chip Challenge, even the company website warns to keep its product out of reach of children, saying its only intended for adult consumption.

"After touching the chip, wash your hands with soap and do not touch your eyes or other sensitive areas," says the website

Levasseur says the teen that died may have had an anaphylactic reaction to the spice, which is an allergic reaction where the airwaves can close up.

Paqui has pulled the product from stores as authorities investigate the death.