The Haryana government has decided to ban the use of liquid nitrogen in drinks and food. The moves come after a cocktail accident at a Gurgaon pub this April that burnt a hole in a man’s stomach.

According to a Times of India report, the state’s food and drug administration (FDA) commissioner, Saket Kumar, said any drink or food whose preparation involves the flushing or mixing liquid nitrogen is harmful for those who consume it. He said that the ban has been issued under the provisions of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (Central Act 34 of 2006)

The department will now conduct surprise checks in restaurants and bars, especially those in Gurgaon, to check whether the ban was being flouted, officials said.

“Due to its low temperature, liquid nitrogen can be extremely damaging to body tissue, causing frostbite and cryogenic burning on contact. Moreover, if ingested, it could lead to severe internal damage, destroying tissue in the mouth and intestinal tract,” Kumar said, according to the TOI report.

Reently, the 30-year-old Delhi businessman drank a cocktail with liquid nitrogen that led to the man’s stomach being so badly burnt that his abdomen was left perforated. The doctor in charge of the surgery described his stomach like an open book.

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The ban was effected on the recommendation of Gurgaon’s food safety officer KK Sharma. After the cocktail accident, a survey was conducted in Cyber Hub and Sector 29 by the FDA and it was found that not just the alcohol, liquid nitrogen was being used in food too. The department then compiled the survey report and sent it to the commissioner. Taking immediate action, he imposed the prohibitions.

Any eatery found using liquid nitrogen with any drink or food will be booked under section 34 (i) and (ii) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The said eatery may also face closure and/or a penalty.

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