SALT LAKE CITY — Back in August, a Florida mother blamed a liquid nitrogen-dipped cereal, called Dragon’s Breath, for her son’s asthma attack.
The mother, Rachael McKenny, said her son suffered the attack after he tasted it while hanging out with friends at a mall.
Now, the Food and Drug Administration has spoken out against liquid nitrogen snacks, drinks and foods, adding support to McKenny’s initial claim that the Dragon’s Breath snack isn’t safe for consumption.
The FDA advised consumers this week against eating, drinking or handling foods made with liquid nitrogen at the point of sale.
Liquid nitrogen can cause severe damage to skin and internal organs if it is mishandled or consumed, mostly because of the extremely low temperatures created by the liquid nitrogen, according to the FDA.
Consumers may also suffer from breathing difficulty by inhaling the vapors released from the snack, according to FDA.
“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 press release.
McKenny, the Florida mother, similarly advised parents against letting their children eat the snacks, according to my report for the Deseret News.
“Around 20 minutes in, the cough became really consistent. By the time we passed the Palencia subdivision, he was coughing so bad that he was having trouble catching his breath,” she wrote on Facebook. “We knew he couldn’t breathe, and we knew that we couldn’t get him to the hospital in time.
"My son could have died. Please do not make the same mistake I did," McKenny posted on her Facebook page.
The cold Dragon’s Breath snack became a trendy delight among teens and youngsters over the summer. But not without problems. Last October, a 14-year-old girl suffered a severe burn from the treat, too.
Like the FDA did this week, New York’s Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services James Tomarken said in a statement in August that people should avoid the snack.
“If an item infused with liquid nitrogen is prepared or consumed incorrectly, it could have harmful health consequences,” he said. “Liquid nitrogen can cause damage to a person’s skin and internal organs and, if inhaled, it can cause asphyxiation (lack of oxygen).”
He added, “Ingestion of liquid nitrogen can cause severe damage to the mouth, esophagus and stomach. Preparing the puffs in a manner that removes residual liquid nitrogen prior to serving effectively reduces the potential for injury.”