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Teenager who ate spicy chips died from heavy chili consumption and suffered heart defect, autopsy finds

BOSTON — A Massachusetts teenager who participated in a spicy tortilla chip challenge on social media died after eating a large amount of chili pepper extract and also suffered from a congenital heart defect, according to an autopsy report obtained by the Associated Press.

Harris Wolobah, a 10th grader from the city of Worcester, died on September 1, 2023 after eating the chip made by Paqui. The cause of death was identified as cardiopulmonary arrest “in the context of recent ingestion of a food substance with a high concentration of capsaicin,” according to the autopsy from the medical examiner’s office.

Paqui, removed the product from store shelves shortly after Harris’ death. The Associated Press sent an email Thursday seeking comment to Hershey Co., which owns Paqui.

The cause of death was determined on Feb. 27 and the death certificate was delivered to the city clerk’s office on March 5, according to Elaine Driscoll, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

California Daily Newspapers

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