In horrifying news, a girl in England was diagnosed with a perforated stomach and underwent a procedure to have her stomach removed. The cause: a cocktail using liquid nitrogen.
As one of the coldest substances known, liquid nitrogen is being used in avant-garde preparations in the culinary world, often referred to as "molecular gastronomy". These techniques have migrated over to the bartending world as well, but the news of such an event highlights the fact that liquid nitrogen is not a toy and not to be used without care.
There is no "food grade" manufacturing process for liquid nitrogen, though many high end wine bars may have easy access to it. This is due to the rising use of argon, an inert gas, to help preserve opened bottles of wine. The details of the girl's injury are unknown at the moment, though it's possible that ingestion of liquid nitrogen in large amounts would have caused the interior lining (and contents) of her stomach to develop frostbite.
UPDATE The local parliament member is calling for a ban on liquid nitrogen cocktails.
[Continue reading at: The Westmoreland Gazette]