More than 20 children have become sick after consuming the liquid nitrogen-infused treat “Dragon’s Breath” in Indonesia. Health authorities are now warning people not to consume the street snack, which has spawned a viral trend on TikTok.
Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, director general of Indonesia’s Ministry of Health told CNN that around 25 children fell ill after eating the nitrogen-fueled candies and two of them were hospitalized. At least 10 children experienced severe food poisoning, local news outlet Kompas reported. Some of them suffered severe burns to their skin and stomach pain.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Health, in a statement, urged parents, teachers and local authorities to remain watchful.
“Dragon’s Breath,” locally known as “chiki ngebul,” is a frozen treat that became a raging sensation on TikTok after several posts showed children eating the snack and breathing out nitrogen fumes from their mouths like a dragon. In fact, one video showing a vendor preparing the dessert received nearly 10 million views on the social media platform, Channel News Asia reported.
The presence of liquid nitrogen gives the snack its fog-like effect. Fumes will come out of people’s mouths, noses and ears when they bite into the vibrant-colored snacks.
The extremely low temperature of liquid nitrogen can cause long-term health issues, according to the Food and Drug Administration. It can cause damage to the skin and internal organs if mishandled, and also cause breathing problems, especially in people with asthma, the agency noted.
Indonesia’s health ministry has urged street vendors not to sell the candies due to the risks they pose.
Earlier this month, one child had to undergo surgery after consuming Dragon’s Breath snack as the candy made a hole in his stomach, Indonesian outlet Kontan reported. However, there are no reports of death so far.