Several Rancho Pico Junior High School students were sent home after engaging in the “One Chip Challenge,” with parents being advised to “seek medical attention” for their students, according to an email sent to parents by Rancho Pico officials.
“Please talk with your student about the dangers of the One Chip Challenge,” read the email. “If you see this dangerous item in their belongings, please confiscate it. Your student’s safety is our No. 1 concern.”
The “One Chip Challenge” is a single chip that’s made by the food company Paqui, a subsidiary of Hershey. The chip boasts a Scoville level — a range that determines spiciness — of being anywhere between 1.6 million to 2.2 million Scoville Heat Units. For reference, a jalapeño is measured to be between 2,000 and 8,000 SHU’s.
A 14-year-old Massachusetts student recently died of cerebral hemorrhage after he attempted the “One Chip Challenge,” with the family blaming the chip for their son’s death. He was also sent home after eating the chip and later died at the hospital, according to multiple news outlets.
After the teen’s death on Sept. 1, the manufacturer announced it was working with its retailers to pull the product from shelves. It’s unknown, at the time of this publication, how the Rancho Pico students were able to obtain the product or if any of them have sustained injuries.