Suffolk County Board of Health Adopts Resolution Deeming ‘Dragon’s Breath’ Unfit for Human Consumption.
Suffolk County, NY - August 16, 2018 - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today directed the Department of Health to prevent any food establishment regulated by the Suffolk County Health Department from serving ‘Dragon’s Breath’ in Suffolk County.
“This action will prevent dangerous chemicals from winding up in the hands of children in Suffolk County,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “We will not tolerate any establishment that seeks to peddle this poison and profit off of these actions in violation of our health code.”
Yesterday, the Suffolk County Board of Health unanimously adopted a resolution that has identified the novelty item, ‘Dragon’s Breath’, as an adulterated food, as defined in the Suffolk County Sanitary Code, and due to the potential for serious injury to consumers, considers this product as unsafe for human consumption. The serving of adulterated food is subject to the health commissioner’s police and enforcement powers under state and local law and sanitary code provisions.
Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken said: “The Department of Health, determined that the addition of liquid nitrogen to this novelty food product constitutes an adulteration of the food product and concluded it also has a significant potential to cause serious injury which far outweigh the novelty feature of the product.”
Liquid nitrogen puffs are a food novelty made by freezing cereal puffs or similar materials in liquid nitrogen, often called ‘Dragon’s Breath’. The frozen cereal is then served in a cup and eaten using a skewer or similar utensil. When the frozen cereal is chewed, the cold condenses moisture in the consumer's exhaled breath and gives the appearance of breathing smoke.
Instances of frostbite and tissue damage have been reported when residual liquid nitrogen is left in the serving cup. If fingers are used to remove the product from the cup, skin contact with liquid nitrogen can cause frostbite. Ingestion of liquid nitrogen can cause severe damage to the mouth, esophagus, and stomach.
The New York State Association of County Health Officials has expressed concerns regarding this product to the New York State Department of Health. Other counties such as Clinton and Cattaraugus either have or are considering not permitting its sale.
If anyone in the public becomes aware of this product being used in Suffolk County please notify the Department of Health Services’ Bureau of Public Health Protection at 631-852-5999.