A new and dangerous trend on social media not only raised concerns of doctors but has caused retailers to take precautionary measures.
The laundry pod challenge or “Tide pod” meme has been sweeping the web since late 2017, showing teens consuming laundry pods.
Some of the memes include putting the laundry pods on pizza, entire recipes, and shows teens popping them and consuming the liquid inside, or the entire pod itself.
The viral spread of the challenge forced the American Association of Poison Control Centers to issue a national alert.
Several retailers including Walmart, Walgreens, Ralph’s and Food 4 Less have locked up Tide Pods in plastic blocks or behind glass doors, according to recent social media posts. The protective measure was noticed after the meme hit peak stupidity.
y’all really joked around so much that tide put their tide pods in plastic boxes…smh pic.twitter.com/Z44efALcX5
— navîd (@n7vid) January 13, 2018
Some stores like Walmart and Kroger noted that a spike in thefts of the “forbidden fruit” has forced them to lock up the Tide Pods.
Tide issued a running PSA on social media featuring Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski sternly wagging his finger when asked if Tide Pods are OK to eat.
What should Tide PODs be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else.
— Tide (@tide) January 12, 2018
At least 10 deaths have been linked to detergent pods, according to CBS. Procter & Gamble, the makers of Tide, has warned against eating the pods since the government agency sounded the alarm. “They should not be played with,” the Tide manufacturer said in a statement to CBS. “Even if meant as a joke. Safety is no laughing matter.”