Doritos Roulette chips are marketed as a sort of game for “risk-takers” who like to “live life on the bold side.” Sounds kinda weird for a bag of chips, right? Well, if you’ve tried the cheesy chips, you’ll know that interspersed within the bag are random super hot chips that are reportedly 10 times hotter than a jalapeno. . . so hot that they have actually been banned from a school in the United Kingdom.
According to The Telegraph, George Pindar School, a secondary school in Scarborough, sent out a letter to parents warning them that Doritos Roulette chips are dangerous. “Parents and carers, please be aware that the new Doritos Roulette crisps are not recommended for children,” the warning read. “The crisps contain extra hot chips and it has come to our attention that they can cause severe distress, particularly to those with sensitivities, allergies, or breathing problems.”
One chip in every handful of Doritos Roulette is covered with a super hot flavoring that rates 78,000 on the Scoville Heat Scale (a Scotch Bennet pepper rates between 100,000 to 350,000 — yikes!). The rest of the chips are covered with cooler tangy cheese flavor. This leads them to be a sort of game: like a snacking version of Russian Roulette, hence the flavor’s namesake.
When the chips were released in the United States in April, the company boasted that they will “leave you in tears.” Well, turns out that for some, that’s pretty darn accurate, but not necessarily in a good way. Beth Laybourn, a 14-year-old student at George Pindar School, was eating a bag of them with her younger brother and friend. “At first it wasn’t that hot. We carried on going round and I started sweating and a moment later I felt my throat burning,” Beth told The Sun.
But Beth, who suffers from asthma, started to become violently ill. “I started retching and ran to the toilet and was sick,” she told The Sun. “I had four mugs of milk and my throat still wouldn’t stop burning. I couldn’t breathe properly and I really thought I was going to die. I kept thinking that if it leads to a full-blown asthma attack I could die.”
A week later, Beth had a severe asthma attack at school — and she believes it was because of the Doritos incident. “I couldn’t stop crying. It was the worst attack I’ve ever had. It was terrifying. . . I love hot food, I love lamb bhunas — but this was the hottest thing I have ever had,” Beth explained. “[Doritos Roulette is] the latest craze and everyone’s talking about it. But I think they are dangerous.”
Now, the school has banned the fiery chips. “It’s time supermarkets did the same thing,” Beth’s mother, Dawn, told The Sun. “The game is a stupid idea. She could have died.”
— Doritos (@DoritosUK) July 15, 2015
A Doritos spokesperson reportedly told The Sun that they’re “sorry to hear about what happened.”
“We do warn people to expect a seriously spicy experience with Doritos Roulette and we make this clear on the pack and in our adverts,” the company spokesperson told The Sun. “The front of the pack states, ‘Warning: Some of these chips are ultra spicy’, while we also say they are not recommended for young children.”
Yeesh. Looks like Doritos Roulette can be a little scarier than just a game. . . eat at your own risk, folks!