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Should you eat food cooled with liquid nitrogen? The FDA weighs in

Posted: 7:52 PM, Aug 30, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-31 16:18:09Z

Cooled to negative 320 degrees, using liquid nitrogen cooled food has become a trendy and cool way of eating. But eating products so cold comes with risks. 

On Thursday, the FDA issued a warning for foods cooled by liquid nitrogen. The FDA says consuming products marketed as "Dragon’s Breath," "Heaven’s Breath," "nitro puff," among others could cause serious injury. 

Liquid nitrogen quickly freezes food, but even after the liquid has completely boiled into a gas, the extreme cold of the food and the displacement of oxygen could cause health concerns. 

"The FDA has become aware of severe -- and in some cases, life-threatening -- injuries, such as damage to skin and internal organs caused by liquid nitrogen still present in the food or drink," the FDA said in a statement. "There has also been a report of difficulty breathing after inhaling the vapor released by liquid nitrogen when added immediately before consumption. 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."

The FDA's warning does not extend to all foods cooled by liquid nitrogen. 

"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," the FDA says.