Warning over liquid nitrogen in drinks

Reports that liquid nitrogen may be being used in alcoholic drinks in the UK have prompted the Food Standards Agency to issue a warning about its dangers.

Liquid nitrogen is a chemical that can be used to chill and freeze food. And 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.

“There are safety and handling guidelines around the use of liquid nitrogen, especially in relation to food,” explains the FSA’s head of incident management Colin Houston. “It’s the business owner’s responsibility to make sure that 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.

“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.”

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