A bar in Lancashire has been fined £100k ($150k) after it served a teen a drink that nearly killed her.
Subsequently, the national trade body the British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) is calling for a blanket ban on the use of liquid nitrogen in drinks.
The move comes in light of a case in which a Lancashire woman had to have her stomach removed in a life-saving operation after drinking a cocktail containing the substance at a bar in Lancaster.
The BCGA says that pubs, clubs and restaurants need to take on board the message that it can never be safe to serve liquid nitrogen in drinks.
Doug Thornton, chief executive of the BCGA, said, “Bars and restaurants have been offering ‘fogging’ drinks for some years, especially in the run-up to Halloween and Christmas, but we’d strongly urge them to stop and think again.’’
Preston Crown Court heard that Gaby Scanlon, then 18, was served the drink while celebrating her 18th birthday in 2012.
According to media reports surrounding the case - in which Oscar’s Wine Bar was fined £100,000 - the bar had been advised about a ‘10-second rule’ which would provide a vital delay before the drink is safe to consume.
However Thornton added, “Our view is that a 10-second rule is far from sound. There is no science which would support such arbitrary guidance.”
“The best rule is to not use liquid nitrogen at all in drinks. To do so is reckless. It’s just endangering people for no good reason.”
“We are also concerned that bar staff should not be exposed to the risk of cryogenic burns in handling the liquid gas.“
“Nobody should handle liquid nitrogen without appropriate training and personal protective equipment.”