Indian Food Safety Department Warns of Liquid Nitrogen Dangers in Food and Drinks

Tamil Nadu bans liquid nitrogen in food, warns of 10-year jail and ₹10 lakh fine. Authorities cracking down on risky use of dry ice and liquid nitrogen in food, citing severe health hazards, especially for children.

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Dil Bar Irshad
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Indian Food Safety Department Warns of Liquid Nitrogen Dangers in Food and Drinks

Indian Food Safety Department Warns of Liquid Nitrogen Dangers in Food and Drinks

The Tamil Nadu Food Safety Department has issued a firm caution that selling food items like ice cream and smoke biscuits made using liquid nitrogen could result in 10 years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10 lakh. The advisory comes after a viral video on social media showed a boy consuming liquid nitrogen, which can be life-threatening if ingested.

P. Satheesh Kumar, the Designated Officer of the Food Safety Department in Chennai, stressed that liquid nitrogen is not a food item and should not be consumed in any form. "Liquid nitrogen is used for various purposes, including freezing, chilling, and in the medical field, but it is not meant for consumption," he stated.

Food safety officials are conducting checks in major cities to ensure that products made using liquid nitrogen are not being sold in restaurants and exhibitions. The department has also advised against selling products mixed with dry ice and giving them to children.

Why this matters: The mishandling and consumption of dry ice and liquid nitrogen in food and beverage preparation pose severe health risks, including internal injuries and frostbite. Ensuring public safety and preventing accidents related to these substances is crucial, especially when it comes to protecting children from potentially life-threatening situations.

Recent incidents involving the misuse of dry ice and liquid nitrogen in food have raised significant concerns. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about the risks associated with consuming or handling foods prepared with these substances. Prior incidents have shown that consuming products mixed with dry ice can cause serious health issues, including vomiting blood, vision impairment, speech loss, and even life-endangering conditions, particularly for children.

The FDA has provided guidelines for retail food establishments to ensure consumer safety, including comprehensive training for food handlers, avoiding the direct addition of liquid nitrogen or dry ice to foods or beverages immediately before consumption, and ensuring complete evaporation or sublimation of these substances before serving to consumers.

The Food Safety Department in Chennai is creating awareness among the public about the dangers of consuming liquid nitrogen. "It is imperative for food establishments and consumers to exercise caution and adhere to established safety guidelines to prevent accidents and ensure public safety," Kumar emphasized. The department's proactive measures aim to prevent any further incidents that could endanger the lives of children and the general public.

Key Takeaways

  • Tamil Nadu bans sale of food items made with liquid nitrogen, penalties up to 10 years jail
  • Liquid nitrogen is not a food item and should not be consumed, warns Food Safety Dept
  • Checks conducted to ensure no sale of products made with liquid nitrogen or dry ice
  • Consuming liquid nitrogen or dry ice in food can cause severe health issues, even death
  • FDA guidelines for food establishments to ensure safety, including training and complete evaporation