HUERFANO COUNTY, Colo. — Huerfano School District Re-1 announced on Wednesday that a brand of hot chips made popular by a viral challenge has been banned from all schools in their district.

“Paqui” chips are a brand of spicy chips based on the Guinness record holder for hottest chili pepper in the world, the Carolina Reaper. A Carolina Reaper pepper can measure upwards of 2,000,000 in Scoville Heat Units – the scale used to measure how hot a pepper is. For reference, a Jalapeño measures between 2,500 – 8,000 and a Habanero falls around 100,000 – 350,000, according to ScovilleScale.org.

The 2022 “One Chip Challenge” is promoted on Paqui’s website, encouraging participants to try just one chip without eating or drinking anything to relieve the burn. Paqui also has a “Wall of Infamy” for anyone who attempts the challenge to post videos of themselves on social media.

The ban at Huerfano Re-1 was posted on their Facebook page, with the reasoning for the ban being safety. Huerfano Re-1 referenced cases of students being hospitalized as a result of medical reactions to the heat index of the chips.

We encourage our parents and guardians to speak with their children about the dangers of participating in this and other potentially harmful internet challenges.

Huerfano School District Re-1 Superintendent Mike Moore

Huerfano Re-1 said any student who brings the Paqui chips to school or encourages others to take part in the challenge will be suspended.