The Haryana government has banned liquid nitrogen in drinks and food items after a Delhi man burnt a hole in his stomach by drinking a cocktail containing the chemical at a Gurgaon pub.
Commissioner (Food Safety) in Haryana’s Food and Drugs Administration Department, Dr Saket Kumar, said any drink or food whose preparation involves the flushing or mixing of liquid nitrogen is harmful for people.
“Due to its low temperature, liquid nitrogen could be extremely damaging to body tissue, causing frostbite and cryogenic burning on contact. Moreover, if ingested, it could lead to severe internal damage, destroying tissue in the mouth and intestinal tract,” he added.
The 30-year-old Delhi man had ended up in a hospital with his stomach “open like a book”. It was reported that he apparently did not wait for the chemical, that creates a white smoke, to dissipate before consuming it.
After the gory episode, he underwent a surgery and was hospitalised for several days.
The FDA official said liquid nitrogen releases a large volume of gas as it evaporates, which could “burst the stomach” if ingested in a sufficiently large quantity.
He said the ban has been issued under the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (Central Act 34 of 2006).
Liquid nitrogen is used at bars to quickly chill glasses, freeze ingredients or provide a smoky effect to drinks.