Wild treat at the fair sends Florida teenage girl to hospital

Eating carnival food.
Eating carnival food.

Credit: Topical Press Agency

Credit: Topical Press Agency

After a day at the fair, a teenage girl is left with memories — and cuts and burns from an unusual fair food.

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At the Pensacola Interstate Fair in Escambia County, Florida, a cereal snack known as "Dragon Breath," is getting a lot of attention. The treat is named for the dragon-like smoke that appears once it's eaten. The effect comes from dipping multiple kinds of cereal in liquid nitrogen.

Tina McArthur’s 14-year-old granddaughter was left with a frostbite-like burn to her thumb after enjoying the snack. She was taken to the emergency room and had her finger cut open because it was almost infected.

McArthur is warning others about the treat so their day at the fair ends without an ER visit.

"I'm just trying to make it aware so that other parents don't have to go through what I've gone through with my granddaughter because she's been in a lot of pain dealing with this," Tina McArthur told WPMI.

“They said had we not come in and got her finger treated she could have possibly lost her thumb,” she said.

State fair treats are often fun, but Dr. Randall Reese, a pediatrician, agrees with McArthur’s assessment.

"It seems like it's something interesting and neat, but it could potentially harm you. The risks far outweigh the novelty of it," Reese said.

Still, the Dragon’s Breath vendor says the treat is like any other hot food, and eating it carefully is the way to prevent burns.