The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to eat or handle food made by adding liquid nitrogen to it right before consumption, following reports of severe and sometimes life-threatening injuries.
Officials with the FDA said the foods, often marketed under the names Dragon’s Breath, Heaven’s Breath and Nitro Puff, can cause severe damage to skin and internal organs if they’re handled incorrectly or accidentally eaten. They can also cause breathing difficulty, particularly among people who have asthma.
The warning issued Thursday was prompted by reports of injuries associated with the treats, including one in which a person had difficulty breathing after inhaling the vapor released by the liquid nitrogen as it was being added to one of the snacks.
“Injuries have occurred from handling or eating products prepared by adding liquid nitrogen immediately before consumption, even after the liquid nitrogen has fully evaporated due to the extremely low temperature of the food,” according to the FDA.
Snacks made with liquid nitrogen have been banned in at least one county in New York. A mother in Florida warned people on social media after her son suffered breathing difficulties after eating Dragon's Breath at a Jacksonville mall in July. In a separate incident last year, a 14-year-old girl was hospitalized after eating Dragon’s Breath at the Pensacola Interstate Fair in Florida, according to Fox News.
Agency officials said other treats that are made using liquid nitrogen well before consumption, like some frozen confections, are safe because they’re treated so that the liquid nitrogen completely evaporates before it’s in the hands of consumers.
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