- Three high schoolers were hospitalised after taking part in a chip trend, a California district official said.
- Paqui's "One Chip Challenge" involves people eating a spicy chip without drinking anything after.
- The challenge is very popular on TikTok and YouTube, amassing millions of views.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
At least three California high school students were hospitalised after participating in a viral social media challenge that involved eating a mega-spicy potato chip, the school district confirmed.
Some of the students, from Lodi High School near Sacramento, needed medical attention after eating the pepper-laced potato chip as part of the "One Chip Challenge," Adam Auerbach, the school principal, told Insider.
"Each student who has taken part has had a similar reaction, struggling to breathe and catch their breath," he said in an emailed comment. "We have also had students vomiting on themselves."
The challenge, created by the brand Paqui, involves people eating a single super spicy chip. The chip contains Carolina Reaper and Scorpion peppers, according to Paqui's website, and is described by the company as "one eye-watering, curse-inducing chip made with the hottest peppers on the planet."
The challenge also includes holding off from drinking water or eating anything else, according to the brand's website.
The Carolina Reaper pepper has been found to be over two million Scoville units, the New York Times reported.
Auerbach sent a message to parents on Friday warning that "a number of students have already been sent home and have been referred to the emergency room because of their reactions to the substance," and said that anyone found carrying the spicy chips would be sent home, according to the local paper The Lodi News-Sentinel.
The challenge is very popular online. The hashtag "OneChipChallenge" has over 475 million views on TikTok in total, with the most popular clips amassing millions of views and likes. It's also a major trend on YouTube, where big influencers like FaZe Rug and LukeDidThat have uploaded videos showing them completing the challenge.
Paqui did not respond to a request for comment.