The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently advised people against eating, drinking or handling food products that have liquid nitrogen added immediately prior to consumption.
The FDA says that, although liquid nitrogen is nontoxic, it can seriously damage skin or organs “if mishandled or accidentally ingested due to the extremely low temperatures it can maintain.”
If someone were to inhale the vapor produced by liquid nitrogen, it could also be harmful to breathing, especially in people with asthma.
Liquid nitrogen is used in food products and drinks immediately before being served to create a smoke-like vapor.
These products “are often marketed under the names ’Dragon’s Breath,’ ’Heaven’s Breath,’ ’nitro puff’ and other similar names,” the FDA reports. These types of products may be available for purchase in places like “malls, food courts, kiosks, state or local fairs, and other food retail locations.”
If the liquid nitrogen has been added to a product well before consumption and has had the chance to completely evaporate and no longer is contributing to the product having an extremely low temperature the product no longer poses a significant risk of injury.
Anyone who has suffered injuries as the result of consuming a product that had liquid nitrogen added to it at the point of sale, immediately prior to consumption, is encouraged to contact a medical professional.