Date PostedNovember 7, 2012

Operators call for Regulation of Liquid Nitrogen

Source : NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

NSW Authorities that have cracked down on the use of liquid nitrogen in cocktails have been urged by a Sydney operator to develop an industry standard for its safe use. The operator has forwarded a proposal to The Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing to urge them regarding this request.

The attention around liquid nitrogen is due to an incident which happened last month which left a British teenager seriously injured after consuming a liquid nitrogen laced cocktail. The nitrogen was ingested by the young girl and expanded in her stomach into a gas, causing perforation of the stomach, requiring part of her stomach to be removed and caused quite a stir internationally.

Read what TheShout.com.au has to say about the request:

Sven Almenning, director of the Speakeasy Group – which owns The Roosevelt and Eau De Vie – told TheShout he has sent the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing a short proposal to suggest that they work to formulate a standard directive for the use of liquid nitrogen in bars and restaurants.

“At The Roosevelt we do for instance have OH&S procedures in place already concerning the storage, use and service of liquid nitrogen in order to protect both our staff and guests,” he said.

“Had this been inspected prior to issuing the ban, I have no doubt that we’d still be able to use liquid nitrogen on our premises.”

Almenning said the Speakeasy Group is currently developing what it hopes might become the beginning of an industry standard for the safe storage and use of liquid nitrogen in bars.

“We are updating our in-house documents and OH&S procedures into what we hope may become an official guideline,” he said.

http://www.theshout.com.au/2012/10/19/article/Liquid-nitrogen-should-be-regulated-not-banned/RWUEMVYQDX.html

According to Almenning, the public has been made afraid of liquid nitrogen because of the sensationalist reports in the media which has vilified the chemical. There are however some patrons who are curious and are asking a lot of questions, which suggests that more education of the subject should be provided for them.

The blame should be on the bartender who made the cocktail and not on the liquid nitrogen because there is nothing wrong with the method, as Almenning pointed out. Liquid nitrogen safely used is non-toxic and can be used in bars and kitchens without danger.

The Roosevelt operators, like other venues are upset that they are now taking a financial blow because they are not able to serve many of the drinks on their menu which was developed to be able to serve liquid nitrogen, which was quite a large investment in itself. The whole episode is also affecting the reputation of the establishment.

The real issue with liquid nitrogen seems to be that is not being properly regulated. Inexperienced barpersons using potentially lethal liquid nitrogen seems to be where the problem lies. Where bartenders are trained, liquid nitrogen can be safely used.

Because liquid nitrogen expands more than 600 times its volume when it changes from a liquid to a gas, it can cause serious damage to the human body if this change were to take place within the stomach like it did to the British teen. So the risk involves the liquid nitrogen entering the body as a liquid and then turning into a gas.

Although authorities have banned the use of liquid nitrogen be careful because nitrogen has no colour or taste, so it may be difficult to detect especially when travelling outside of the state.

 

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Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning, OH&S training, and web strategy firm based in Little Edward St. Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia. Urban E-Learning provides compliance related online , Distance and Face-to-Face training products in the construction, hospitality and heavy vehicle transport sectors, to name a few. Examples include the White Card Construction induction course and the RSA - Responsible Service of Alcohol course. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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