Future of liquid nitrogen cocktails is in doubt

10th October, 2012 by Andy Young

The future of liquid nitrogen cocktails is in the balance following a horrific incident in Lancaster, UK.

Gaby Scanlon Liquid Nitrogen Cocktails

Gaby Scanlon, 18, had her stomach removed after drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen

Gaby Scanlon, 18, had to have her stomach removed after drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen.

The incident has prompted many to question the future and safety of using chemical substances such as liquid nitrogen and dry ice in cocktails.

Doctor John Ashton, director of public health for Cumbria, told the Independent: “This girl is the victim of an irresponsible alcohol industry that’s now competing on gimmicks. Alcohol itself is a very dangerous thing if improperly handled and liquid nitrogen is a toxic chemical. It destroys human tissue.”

It is reported that Scanlon’s cocktail, called a Nitro Jagermeister, was prepared correctly, but Marion Beke from Nightjar told sb‘s Becky Paskin that he thinks the incident could bring change to the industry.

He said: “I think because of what’s happened to this poor girl, the law is going to change. Dry ice is very cold and can burn your stomach in the same way something hot can. I think liquid nitrogen will definitely be banned or restricted after this and dry ice could be affected too”.

The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued a warning to bars currently using or considering using liquid nitrogen to make cocktails.

It said that although the substance is not toxic, it does expose the human body to extreme cold temperatures if ingested.

Colin Houston, head of incident management, FSA, said: “There are safety and handling guidelines around the use of liquid nitrogen, especially in relation to food.

“It is the business owner’s 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.”

He added that the FSA is working with local police and health and safety officers to encourage them to monitor the use of potentially harmful substances as part of their regular inspection regime. It is also speaking with other departments and agencies to investigate the issue and decide whether any further action is needed.

All food manufacturers, retailers and hospitality businesses in the UK are lgally obliged to ensure that all food and drink sold to the public is fit for human consumption.

Paul Aitchison, chairman of Lancaster City Council’s Licensing Act Committee, said that he was at the same bar a few months ago and tried the drink.

Mr Aitchison said: “I heard about this story this morning and I was quite shocked because I have actually tried it myself. It was quite scary to think that it could have possibly happened to me.”

Leave a Reply

If that's interesting, how about these?

Top 10 coffee-flavoured spirits

Coffee in hand, The Spirits Business explores the growing world of the more...

The week in pictures

This week Javier Bardem took a tour of Speyside's Strathisla Distillery, more...

Walsh Whiskey launches Irishman cocktail comp

Walsh Whiskey has partnered with UK importer Emporia Brands to launch its first more...

Spirits industry hails self-regulatory labelling proposal

The European Commission has published a report inviting the drinks industry to more...

Boutique-y intros gin with botanicals sent into space

Newly formed That Boutique-y Gin Company has launched a gin made exclusively more...

Martell unveils VS Single Distillery

Pernod Ricard-owned Cognac house Martell has released a new expression more...

Distilled Spirits Council slams ‘tampon tax’ reform

The Distilled Spirits Council has urged California lawmakers to reject a bill more...

Fawcett debuts book and bar inspired by Vietnam

British bartender and artist Richie Fawcett has created a new cocktail bar and more...

New gin made with collagen to launch

Another product that claims to merge the worlds of beauty and spirits is poised more...

UK bars to cut booze prices on Tax Equality Day

Thousands of bars and restaurants across the UK will slash their prices by 7.5% more...

Opihr Gin launches fourth annual cocktail comp

The fourth annual Opihr World Adventure Cocktail Competition is now open to more...

SB Voices: A new age of gastronomic spirits?

As the 'molecular mixology' trend gains traction, are we about to see more...

Whisky workers seek 'honest answers' over Brexit impact

GMB Scotland members from the whisky industry will today meet with more...

Diageo unveils 'industry first' e-learning tool

Diageo has launched a new e-learning tool on its responsible drinking website more...

Unmissable spirits exhibitors at ProWein 2017

This year ProWein is shining a light on spirits and other drinks favoured by more...

Top 10 tea-flavoured spirits

Tea-based spirits have come to the fore in recent years, providing bartenders more...

Hayman's Gin teams up with B Bakery

Starting from Mother's Day (26 March), Hayman's Gin will team up with B Bakery more...

Diageo opens Bulleit Distilling Co in Kentucky

Diageo has officially opened its US$115 million Bourbon distillery in Shelby more...

Top 5 bars in... Aspen

A snowy paradise for some of the world’s wealthiest skiers, Aspen is also more...

The world's best boozy hotel breaks

Looking for a getaway with some serious spirit? SB rounds up some of the best more...