After ordering a "Nitro-Jagermeister" at a local pub, she was rushed to the hospital, where doctors had to remove her stomach.
When you order a specialty cocktail for a celebratory occasion, chances are you don’t think twice about what it will do to your body (other than get you a little tipsy).
But for Gabby Scanlon, a British woman toasting her 18th birthday, what happened after drinking a “Nitro-Jagermeister” shot at a local bar was anything but celebratory.
"I turned to the man and asked if it was okay to drink. He said 'Yes,'" Scanlon reportedly told the court in a case against the bar. After taking a sip, "Smoke was coming from my nose and mouth. Straight away I knew something was not right. My stomach expanded."
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According to the BBC, the drink left Scanlon near death. She went to the hospital, where a CT scan showed that she had a “large perforation in her stomach."
Because of the trauma, Scanlon, now 20, spent a total of three weeks in the hospital, undergoing surgery to remove her stomach and connect her esophagus to her intestines.
Her lawyers said that Scanlon now experiences "episodes of agonizing pain," has to skip some foods altogether, and can no longer enjoy eating. The bar has since been fined £100,000 (or about $154,00) for failing to ensure the drink was safe for consumption.
Liquid nitrogen is used in a variety of setting (from cooling vaccuum pumps to freezing off warts), but it also has culinary uses. In addition to keeping food cold, it is often used to give cocktails that gimmicky, smoking look. But in order for the cocktails to be safe for consumption, the smoke must evaporate completely before anyone drinks it.
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“[Liquid nitrogen's] 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,” notes the UK's Food Standards Agency, similar to the FDA in the United States.
"There are safety and handling guidelines around the use of liquid nitrogen, especially in relation to food,” the FSA explains. “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.”
This isn't the first time liquid nitrogen made news. Back in 2013, the staff at a Jägermeister pool party in Mexico added the cold stuff to the water. It sure looked cool—until partiers started fainting in the pool, requiring quick rescue. At the time, Popular Science reported that “the nitrogen displaced oxygen from the air above the pool, leaving none for the swimmers to breathe.”
Chances are, liquid nitrogen cocktails are served somewhere in your city. But after this we won't blame you for sticking with a glass of red. Or for staying away from Jägermeister pool parties.
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