October 10, 2012
LONDONThe Food Standards Agency issued a public alert warning people about the dangers of liquid nitrogen in beverages after an 18-year-old nearly died after consuming a drink containing liquid nitrogen at a local pub.
Liquid nitrogen is a chemical that can be used to chill and freeze food. Although it is not a toxic substance, its extreme cold temperature makes it unsafe for people to drink and eat because the human body is unable to cope with such a cold internal temperature. According to a BBC report, Gaby Scanlon was rushed to a local hospital where surgeons were forced to remove her stomach due to extensive damage caused from ingesting the liquid nitrogen on Oct. 4.
There are safety and handling guidelines around the use of liquid nitrogen, especially in relation to food. It is the business owners responsibility to make sure that their staff have been trained and are aware of the potential risks of using liquid nitrogen. They also have to have appropriate safety measures in place to protect both their staff and consumers," said FSAs Head of Incident Management Colin Houston. The FSA will be making local enforcement officers aware of the practice of using liquid nitrogen in the use of cocktails and it will be something officers can incorporate as part of their inspection regime. Were also working with other departments and agencies to investigate the issue and whether we need to take any further action."
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