In light of a recent health scare, health officials are warning about the dangers of liquid nitrogen-infused cocktails.
The nearly-fatal scare happened to 18-year-old U.K. college student Gaby Scanlon. Scanlon was out celebrating her 18th birthday in 2012 when she consumed two “Nitro Jagermeister” drinks. Liquid nitrogen, which vaporizes at -384 degrees, causes an aesthetically-pleasing mist to float off the drink’s surface. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly dangerous if not used correctly.
Within minutes of consuming the drinks, Scanlon fell violently ill. Friends called her an ambulance immediately. At the hospital, doctors informed her that the liquid nitrogen had inflicted terrible cryogenic burns on her stomach lining. It’s believed she consumed the liquid nitrogen when some of the vapor condensed into drops and mixed in with her cocktail. Although Scanlon survived the incident, the majority of her stomach has been removed.
Dr. John Ashton, Director of Public Health for Cumbria, England, says stories like this are exactly why the U.K.'s alcohol industry needs more regulation.
“This girl is the victim of an irresponsible alcohol industry that's now competing on gimmicks,” Ashton told MailOnline. “People should not be playing chemistry in public houses. This is a very, very cold substance and it is similar to subjecting your esophagus and stomach to frost bite.”
Paul Aitchison, chairman of Lancaster City Council’s Licensing Act Committee, says he himself tried the drink recently.
“I heard about this and I was quite shocked because I have actually tried it myself,” Aitchison said. “I thought it sounded interesting, that's probably one of the draws. You assume the drinks served in licensed premises will be safe.”
The bar that served Scanlon the drink has reportedly stopped selling the special cocktails, and the police are investigating the incident. According to The Mirror, court proceedings are set to take place against the bar, one of its directors and an employee.