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Mom says hot chip snacks caused her daughter's gallbladder to be removed

Posted at 9:04 AM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 14:19:35-04

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Wildly popular hot snacks are getting snatched off shelves. 

You can find the hot chips, some with a corn base, at really any convenience store. Usually, right at the front.

But, Memphis mother Renee Craighead has a warning: "When my daughter had to have this surgery, I knew I had to tell everybody about it."

ALSO: Four varieties of Goldfish crackers recalled

Craighead said the doctor told her hot chips, like Hot Cheetos, Takis and Hot Fries, were behind her 17-year-old daughter's stomach problems.

"She loves them. Every time I go out she says, 'Bring me back some Hot Takis, bring me back some Hot Chips.' And me, stupid, because I want to make her happy, and I brought them back, and she was eating big bags and taking them to school with her," Craighead said.

Her daughter, also named Rene, started feeling sick to her stomach. That soon led to surgery and her gallbladder removed.

"I was very surprised that my daughter was sick like that," Craighead said.

The Craigmont High School student estimates she was eating around four bags of the hot snacks a week.

It's not just the taste that makes them appealing. Costing about $1 for a regular-sized bag, the price-point is appealing too.

"We do see tons of gastritis and ulcer-related stuff to it," said Dr. Cary Cavender, a gastroenterologist with Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.

Related to this kind of snacks? He was asked. "Absolutely," he said.

Canvender says there are a lot of factors that go into having a gallbladder removed. But he believes eating the chips probably contributed.

"We probably see 100 kids a month, easily," the doctor said.

Advice: Monitor your child's diet and load up on the fruits and veggies.


In a statement regarding Takis, Buchanan Public Relations said:

"We assure you that Takis are safe to eat, but should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet. Takis ingredients fully comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, and all of the ingredients in each flavor are listed in detail on the label. Always check the serving size before snacking."

They said they take complaints very seriously and are happy to connect with the customer.

Frito-Lay, the maker of Cheetos, said:

“At Frito-Lay, food safety is always our number one priority, and our snacks meet all applicable food safety regulations as well as our rigorous quality standards. Some consumers may be more sensitive to spicy foods than others and may choose to avoid spicier snacks due to personal preference.”