CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. – Bakers are responding to the dangerous “Tide Pod challenge” with sweet and savory irreverence.
Wake N Bake Donuts in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, and Kansas-based Hurts Donut have both made pastries decorated to look like the laundry detergent pods, which are at the center of a dangerous social media trend.
The “Tide Pod challenge” has gained attention in recent weeks as a social media-fueled trend in which teenagers eat single-load laundry detergent packets and post videos.
The North Carolina doughnut shop said on its Facebook page last week that an employee came up with the idea to show “youth the difference between what to eat and what not to eat.”
Owner Danny Tangredi told WECT-TV: “I definitely didn’t think we would make a Tide Pod doughnut. But I also didn’t think people would eat Tide Pods.”
Hurts Donut introduced its offering in Wichita on Jan. 17, according to the Wichita Eagle .
“We’ve had a really good response so far,” owner Trista Patterson told the newspaper. “We’ve only had a few people who think it’s not funny.”
A New York City pizzeria even launched “Pied Pods,” offering rolls stuffed with cheese and pepperoni and topped with dyed cheese made to look like a detergent pod.
Commenters on social media have had a mixed response. Some think the businesses are being irresponsible because the real detergent is dangerous to consume, while others think the pastries are funny.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers warned of a spike in teenagers eating the laundry product, which it says can cause seizures, respiratory arrest and even death. Poison control centers said they handled 39 cases of intentional misuse among 13- to 19-year-olds in the first 15 days of the year, compared to about 50 for all of last year.
The maker of Tide Pods, Procter & Gamble, said it’s working with social media companies to remove videos of people biting into the detergent.