August 30, 2018
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration alerts consumers and retailers of the potential for serious injury from eating, drinking, or handling food products prepared by adding liquid nitrogen at the point of sale, immediately before consumption.
These products are often marketed under the names "Dragon’s Breath," "Heaven’s Breath," "nitro puff" and other similar names.
Liquid nitrogen, although 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. 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. This safety alert advises consumers to avoid eating, drinking, or handling foods prepared using liquid nitrogen at point of sale and immediately before consumption, due to risk of injury.
Foods and drinks prepared by adding liquid nitrogen immediately before consumption may be sold in malls, food courts, kiosks, state or local fairs, and other food retail locations. These products may include liquid nitrogen-infused colorful cereal or cheese puffs that emit a misty or smoke-like vapor. Similarly, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks prepared with liquid nitrogen emit a fog.
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. 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.
In general, 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 the FDA CAER system. The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to Submit An Inquiry, or to visit www.fda.gov/fcic for additional information.
August 1, 2018
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, along with other partners, are investigating possible Salmonella contamination of a whey ingredient that has caused the recall of several popular foods. FDA’s public health alert warns consumers of a possible Salmonella contamination of whey powder, used as an ingredient in food.
The whey powder producer, Associated Milk Producers, Inc. (AMPI), voluntarily recalled its product prompting manufacturers to conduct product recalls as a precaution. This recall was initiated by AMPI on July 25th, 2018.
No illnesses have been confirmed in connection with the recalled products, but consumers should not eat any of the recalled foods. Some of the recalled products have been baked or cooked, which would reduce the risk of Salmonella contamination if the whey powder ingredient is added prior to the baking or cooking. However, adding the whey after any baking or cooking has occurred, such as the application of seasoning powder, icing, or other topping components that include the whey powder can introduce pathogens such as Salmonella. Post-baking contamination has previously been associated with foodborne Salmonella outbreaks.
Salmonella is a microorganism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.
People who think they might have symptoms of a Salmonella infection should consult their health care provider. The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to Submit An Inquiry, or to visit www.fda.gov/fcic for additional information.
Additional products containing the recalled whey powder may be added to this alert as more information becomes available.