Warning on liquid nitrogen in cocktails

Last updated:
8 October 2012
The Food Standards Agency is urging people to be aware of the dangers of liquid nitrogen, following information that it may be being used in alcoholic drinks on sale in the UK.

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

The FSA’s Head of Incident Management, Colin Houston, said: ‘There are safety and handling guidelines around the use of liquid nitrogen, especially in relation to food. It is the business owner’s responsibility to make sure that their 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.

'We’re also working with other departments and agencies to investigate the issue and whether we need to take any further action.'

Food manufacturers, retailers and businesses in the UK have a legal obligation to make sure that any and all food they are serving to the public is fit for human consumption.