USA – The Food and Drug Administration agency of the United States has warned consumers and retailers of the potential health effects from food products prepared by adding liquid nitrogen at the point of sale, immediately before consumption.
According to the health department agency, liquid nitrogen considered to be non-toxic, can cause severe damage to skin and internal organs if mishandled or accidently ingested due to the extremely low temperatures it can maintain.
As a result of the probable injury, consumers are alerted to avoid eating, drinking, or handling foods prepared using liquid nitrogen at point of sale and immediately before consumption.
Such products marketed under ‘Dragon’s Breath’, ‘Heaven’s Breath’ and ‘nitro puff’ names, are also associated with breathing difficulty, especially among individuals with asthma.
They include liquid nitrogen-infused colorful cereal or cheese puffs that emit a misty or smoke-like vapour or alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks prepared with liquid nitrogen.
Liquid nitrogen present in food or drink can cause damage to skin and internal organs, all categorized as severe or in some cases life-threatening injuries, FDA said.
People handling or eating products prepared by adding liquid nitrogen immediately before consumption are reported to have encountered difficulties in breathing, even after the liquid nitrogen has fully evaporated due to the extremely low temperature of the food.
FDA said other foods treated with liquid nitrogen prior to the point of sale and before consumption, for example some frozen confections, are treated in such a way that results in the complete evaporation of liquid nitrogen before reaching the consumer and are no longer at an extremely low temperature, and therefore do not pose a significant risk of injury.
“Consumers who have experienced an injury because of handling or eating products prepared with liquid nitrogen at the point of sale, immediately before consumption, should consult their healthcare professional.
Consumers should also consider reporting their injury to MedWatch.
The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to submit an inquiry, or to visit www.fda.gov/fcic for additional information,” said FDA’s statement.