FDA Warning: Popular ‘Dragon’s Breath’ Liquid Nitrogen Treats Can Cause Serious Injury
The FDA has issued a warning urging parents to stop buying their children the popular liquid nitrogen treats known as "Dragon’s Breath," "Heaven’s Breath," "nitro puff" and other similar names due to the potential for serious, possibly life-threatening injury.
The treats are prepared by infusing liquid nitrogen immediately before consumption and may be sold in malls, food courts, kiosks, state or local fairs, and other food retail locations. According to the FDA, these products may include liquid nitrogen-infused colorful cereal or cheese puffs that emit a misty or smoke-like vapor. Similarly, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks prepared with liquid nitrogen emit a fog.
The release from the FDA states, in part:
Liquid nitrogen, although non-toxic, can cause severe damage to skin and internal organs if mishandled or accidentally ingested due to the extremely low temperatures it can maintain. Inhaling the vapor released by a food or drink prepared by adding liquid nitrogen immediately before consumption may also cause breathing difficulty, especially among individuals with asthma. This safety alert advises consumers to avoid eating, drinking, or handling foods prepared using liquid nitrogen at the point of sale and immediately before consumption, due to the risk of injury.
The FDA says there have already been cases of serious and life-threatening injuries such as damage to skin and internal organs caused by liquid nitrogen still present in the food and drink.
A mother in Florida says her son suffered an asthma attack triggered by inhaling liquid nitrogen fog from a 'Dragon's Breath' treat they bought at kiosk in the mall. "He was coughing so bad that he was having trouble catching his breath. We knew he couldn’t breathe," Rachel McKenny wrote in a post on Facebook. Rachel says she and her husband were able to get their son to a nearby fire station and EMTs immediately started albuterol treatments and an IV, saving his life before transferring him to a hospital.
If you or someone you know have experienced an injury because of handling or eating products prepared with liquid nitrogen at the point of sale, immediately before consumption, the FDA urges you to consider reporting the injury to MedWatch.
The FDA also says that some frozen confections that are treated with liquid nitrogen prior to the point of sale and before consumption in such a way that results in the complete evaporation of liquid nitrogen before being sold to the consumer do not pose a significant risk of injury.