Jan. 22 (UPI) -- A New York pizzeria is offering a nontoxic alternative to the "Tide Pod Challenge" with mini pizzas created to resemble the laundry detergent pods.
Vinnie's Pizzeria announced on Twitter that customers looking for an edible alternative to laundry detergent should order the eatery's "PIEd Pods."
"Listen," the restaurant tweeted. "We're concerned about the youths. They're eating laundry detergent pods. Our Pied Pods (filled w/cheese and roni) have that bright, alluring colors that youths crave BUT are 100 percent edible and 100 percent not soap. Plus they're delicious."
The American Association of Poison Control Centers said recently that there has been a sharp increase in calls stemming from intentional exposure to laundry pods after the "Tide Pod Challenge" went viral on social media.
Sean Berthiaume, owner of Vinnie's, said the idea came to him in a dream.
"It's pepperoni, it's mozzarella it's ricotta, it's some Italian spices and it's wrapped in pizza dough and it's covered with food coloring and dyed cheese on top," Berthiaume told WPIX-TV. "I kind of had a dream about making these things edible for people because it's all over the internet, Facebook, Instagram. People commenting, giving their opinions and I think it was on my brain. I had this dream where I was trying to make something edible and I woke up and I immediately went into work to try to make it."
Social networks have been cracking down on posts that appear to promote consumption of the toxic laundry detergent pods, leading to Instagram repeatedly deleting photos of the "PIEd Pods" posted to Vinnie's Pizzeria's official account.
"I'm not trying to make people eat soap, I'm trying to make people not eat soap. I think it's a stupid thing and also there are tons of news reports, everyone is talking about it so it's not like us keeping this going, it's all over the place. We're just saying look how ridiculous this is," Berthiaume said.
"We have a big online following so I mainly made it for them to poke fun at the situation and how ridiculous it was but then people started ordering the pizzas and wanted to eat them so now you have to make them taste good and make sure they're actually delicious," he said.