Following an incident in the UK in which Gaby Scanlon, out celebrating her 18th birthday had to have her stomach removed to save her life, questions have been raised about the safety of drinks cooled by liquid nitrogen.
Liquid nitrogen cocktails which bubble and let out a cauldron-like smokey steam have become popular with students, but their use is controversial because liquid nitrogen boils at -196°C, a potentially lethal temperature.
It is used to chill glasses and is a crowd-pleaser thanks to the dramatic-looking water vapour it releases at room temperature.
It is believed the cocktails drunk by Miss Scanlon still contained drops of the liquid nitrogen which then caused horrendous burns to her stomach.
Now the Australian Medical Association has issued a public warning highlighting the dangers of using liquid nitrogen in alcoholic beverages.
Geoff Dobb, Vice-President of the Australian Medical Association, says that liquid nitrogen cocktails are potentially very dangerous.
Colder than the coldest winter night in the Antarctic, liquid nitrogen has the ability to give any human tissue instant frostbite.
Also, when liquid nitrogen turns from a liquid into a gas, it expands to more than 600 times its liquid volume and if swallowed into a person’s stomach, could explode.
The Australian Medical Association accepts that when used responsibly, liquid nitrogen cocktails are fun and safe.
The problem may come in bars where people are intoxicated and gulp them down without thinking.