Matt Case - January 26th, 2024 - 5:31am PST 

    SEOUL — A bizarre and viral trend sweeping South Korea has caught the attention of the government, prompting a warning from the country's food ministry. Social media users, inspired by the success of deep-frying various foods, have taken to deep-frying starch toothpicks and indulging in them.

    The craze gained rapid popularity on TikTok, where videos of individuals deep frying blue-colored toothpicks, accompanied by seasonings like spicy cheese powder, went viral. The videos depict users devouring these unconventional snacks with enthusiasm.

    In response to this eyebrow-raising trend, South Korea's food ministry issued a stern warning, emphasizing that "STARCH TOOTHPICKS ARE NOT EDIBLE PRODUCTS!" The government's intervention came as concerns over the safety and health risks associated with consuming such non-food items mounted.

    The peculiar trend serves as a reminder of the power of social media to influence people's behavior and preferences, even in the realm of unconventional food choices. South Korean authorities are now actively discouraging this potentially harmful fad to ensure the well-being of their citizens.