Downey Bill to Prohibit Food and Drinks Made with Liquid Nitrogen Clears Assembly Panel

At first glance, “Dragon’s Breath” may seem like an intriguing dessert, but health officials overwhelmingly agree that eating cereal dipped in liquid nitrogen can be incredibly harmful to a person’s health.

“Dragon’s Breath” and other foods made with liquid nitrogen have become the focus of popular internet trends, despite severe safety risks. When a person takes a bite, the liquid nitrogen combines with the warmth of their mouth to release visible vapors out of the nose and mouth. However, the chemical element can also cause serious internal and external burns and severe breathing problems.

In an effort to prevent people from ingesting liquid nitrogen, a bill (A-4617) sponsored by Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Monmouth) to prohibit the sale of food or beverages prepared with liquid nitrogen was approved Monday by the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.

“We’ve seen reports from across the globe of people getting seriously injured and ending up hospitalized from eating ‘Dragon’s Breath’ ice cream or even cocktails made with liquid nitrogen,” said Downey. “Anything we can do to raise awareness of the dangers of eating liquid nitrogen, and hopefully prevent people from doing it in the first place, is a step we need to take.”

If enacted into law, violators of the bill would be liable to a civil penalty of not less than $250 for the first violation, $500 for the second and $1,000 for the third and each subsequent violation. The penalty would be sued for and collected by the Commissioner of Health pursuant to the Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999.

The measure now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.