September 17, 2019

FDA Tells Consumers to Avoid Point of Sale Liquid Nitrogen Products

The FDA has issued a safety alert about food items that are prepared by adding liquid nitrogen at the point of sale, right before someone eats or drinks it. These products can cause “severe damage to skin and internal organs if mishandled or accidently ingested due to the extremely low temperatures it can maintain.”

Liquid Nitrogen FDA Warning

These products are often marketed under the names “Dragon’s Breath,” “Heaven’s Breath,” or “nitro puff.” Inhaling the vapor released by a food or beverage prepared in this way can cause difficulty in breathing, especially among people with asthma.

While liquid nitrogen is itself non-toxic, it can damage skin and internal organs because it maintains extremely low temperatures. This safety alert advises consumers to avoid eating, drinking, or handling these foods and beverages because of the risk of injury.

These types of foods are often sold at malls, food courts, state or county fairs, kiosks, and other retail locations. Some of these products are liquid nitrogen-infused colorful cereal or cheese puffs; these foods will emit a misty or smoke-like vapor. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks that are prepared with liquid nitrogen emit a fog.

The FDA has been informed about some severe, and in some cases, life-threatening injuries due to the use and consumption of these products. There have also been reports of difficulty breathing after inhaling the vapor released by liquid nitrogen. These injuries have occurred from handling and eating these products, even after the liquid nitrogen has completely evaporated. The food is eaten at an extremely low temperature that can cause burns.

Foods treated with liquid nitrogen at the point of sale well before they are consumed, such as frozen confections, are treated so the nitrogen completely evaporates and are no longer at a very low temperature.

Any consumers who have been injured by tase products should contact a doctor. You can also report an injury to the FDA’s MedWatch Voluntary Reporting Form. You can Submit an Inquiry or visit the FDA web site for more information.

 

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