Karnataka Bans Use Of Liquid Nitrogen In Restaurants

Another day and another ban in the restaurants. This time, Karnataka banned the use of liquid nitrogen while serving food in eateries. This has come after a 12-year-old girl developed a health condition due to which she had to undergo surgery. It raised another safety alarm in the food and beverage industry. 

Not only the Food Safety Department has issued a ban on the use of this compound in restaurants but also made it a punishable offence. One must note that the ban is only on the use while serving food to customers, not on the use for other purposes.

12 YO Girl Develops Hole In Stomach Due To Liquid Nitrogen

A horrific incident came to light in Karnataka on May 20, 2024, when a 12-year-old girl ate liquid nitrogen paan at a wedding in the last week of April 2024. She fell sick, and when the doctors ran a few tests, they found a hole in her stomach (the condition is referred to as perforated peritonitis). 

This condition cannot be cured without medical intervention, therefore, she had to undergo surgery and stay in the hospital for at least six days. Though she is doing well now, the food and safety department of Karnataka could not ignore this incident. Hence, the ban on the compound while serving any dish in restaurants.

Karnataka Bans Liquid Nitrogen

In the food and beverage industry, liquid nitrogen is used to ensure ice creams or any other kind of frozen foods have a velvety texture. It also speeds up the process of cooking or rather freezing and eliminates the growth of bacteria. Many restaurants use it while serving dishes to make them look more appealing to the eyes.

However, after the case of the 12-year-old made headlines, the food safety department banned its use while serving. However, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) allows the use of the ingredient as a cooling agent to make desserts and for contact freezing. 

The commissioner of the food safety department in Karnataka, Srinivas K, issued the order on May 3 to ban the use of liquid nitrogen in smoking biscuits, desserts, and other food items while serving customers. He added that it can lead to digestive problems. 

Under the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006, if a vendor is found violating the order, they will be sentenced to imprisonment for seven years or more. The defaulter will have to pay a penalty of Rs 10 lakh. 

Liquid nitrogen is used in the healthcare sector for cryosurgery on tumours or warts. It helps to remove them. Studies reveal that it is also associated with frostbite, cold burns, freezing of skin and eye tissue, and permanent damage to the eyes as well.