Haryana food and drugs administration department bans the use of nitrogen in food and drinks

Haryana food and drugs administration department bans the use of nitrogen in food and drinks

Chandigarh,July29:The Haryana food and drugs administration department on Thursday banned the use of nitrogen in food and drinks across the state.

The ban comes almost a month after news of a 30-year-old Delhi man gulping down a drink topped with liquid nitrogen and ending with a gaping hole in his stomach came to the fore.

A government statement issued from Chandigarh on Friday stated that keeping in view the interest of the health of people in the state, the Haryana government has prohibited the flushing or mixing of liquid nitrogen with any drink or food article.

Saket Kumar, commissioner (food safety), food and drugs administration department, further said that an order to this effect has been issued under section 34 of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (Central Act 34 of 2006).

He said that as per expert medical opinion, any drink or food article whose preparation involves the flushing or mixing of liquid nitrogen is harmful for humans. He said that due to its low temperature, liquid nitrogen could be extremely damaging for body tissue causing frostbite and cryogenic burning on contact.

“If swallowed, the gas can lead to serious internal damage, destroying tissues in the mouth and intestinal area. Also, as it evaporates, liquid nitrogen releases a high volume of gas, which can tear open the stomach if swallowed in adequately large quantities,” the order further said.

The Delhi man who consumed liquid nitrogen underwent a surgery at Columbia Asia hospital in Palam Vihar after doctors found a big hole in his stomach.

The man later said he hadn’t realised that the drink was to be had after the ‘smoke’ dissipated, and he downed it in one draught. What followed was extreme pain, abdomen swelling and breathlessness. The man was rushed to a hospital in Gurgaon where the doctors took him to surgery and found that there was a huge hole in his stomach which they said “was open like a book”..

The drink he had consumed was liquid nitrogen that has a boiling point of -195.8°C and is used to instantly freeze food and drinks. The incident was reported on July 3.

Mrintunajay Tiwari, principal consultant, Blue Fish Concept hospitality said, “Staff at restaurants/bars serving nitrogen-based drinks and food had to undergo seven weeks training during which they were told to be very attentive while the drinks are served. The incident was unfortunate.”

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