For now, two retailers in Fairview Heights plan to keep “Dragon’s Breath” on the menu, even though the Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers about the dangers of the dessert.
The treat is prepared by pouring liquid nitrogen over fruit-flavored cereal, causing it to freeze instantly. A smokey vapor seeps from the mouth and nose of the consumer as they eat it.
But its freezing temperature can cause damage in the mouth and internal organs, the FDA warns.
“Liquid nitrogen, although non-toxic, can cause severe damage to skin and internal organs if mishandled or accidentally ingested due to the extremely low temperatures it can maintain,” said an FDA warning issued Aug. 30. “Inhaling the vapor released by a food or drink prepared by adding liquid nitrogen immediately before consumption may also cause breathing difficulty, especially among individuals with asthma.”
“Liquid Nitrogen can be dangerous,” a warning sign at Snow Factory Minus states. “Please do not touch or ingest nitrogen liquid.”
The sign at the ice cream shop also tells customers to stab the Dragon’s Breath with the provided stick and dip the cereal in the provided strawberry syrup before eating it.
The treat is popular at state and county fairs nation wide. Some vendors suggest blowing on the cereal three times before eating it.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Snow Factory co-owner Jing Liu said she hadn’t heard about the warning but planned to consult the other managers about continuing sales of the product.
Nitro Dragon, a kiosk on the lower level of the mall, also sells the product. When asked if sales would continue, the company referenced its warning sign, which advises parents to stay with their children during consumption.
Injuries connected to the consumption of dragon’s breath can be reported to the FDA through MedWatch.