The risk of Liquid Nitrogen in licensed venues

The risks of using liquid nitrogen in cocktailsCelsius.  So what can you do as a Responsible Manager to protect your staff?

Liquid nitrogen is classified as a dangerous good under the Australian Dangerous Goods Code, but is widely used in the hospitality industry in a safe and responsible way to freeze foods for food preparation. However, liquid nitrogen is being used by some liquor licensees in Queensland to prepare cocktails, because of the smoky, cauldron effect it produces.

An incident surrounding the hazardous nature of this substance occurred in the UK in 2012, where a young woman sustained serious injuries from drinking a cocktail prepared with liquid nitrogen.

What’s more concerning is the lack of training most staff receives in dealing with this substance in busy, licensed venues.  If prepared incorrectly, a beverage containing liquid nitrogen can pose a serious threat to customers, with potentially tragic outcomes.  Another occupational health and safety hazard is that the extreme cold of the substance can pose an asphyxiation hazard, if released into a confined space.

In order to minimise the risk of an accident due to misuse of this substance, Queensland licensees are encouraged to provide appropriate training and guidelines about the safe use of liquid nitrogen when preparing drinks.

The guidelines should include:

  • The identification of serious injury which can result from the misuse of liquid nitrogen

  • Appropriate safety procedures to protect staff and customers

Licensees must act under the Liquor Act 1992 which stipulates the provision of a safe work environment.  If you feel that your venue cannot manage this process safely, then you must stop serving beverages containing liquid nitrogen.

RMLV due?  Train with Club Training Australia and receive your certificate, free lunch, and bonus RSA in less than 2 days.