Oscar's Wine Bar in Lancaster has been fined £100,000 after a woman who drank a cocktail made with liquid nitrogen needed to have her stomach removed.
Preston Crown Court heard how Gaby Scanlon, then aged 18, drank a ‘Nitro-Jagermeister' in 2012, which perforated her stomach, according to BBC News today.
Oscar's Wine Bar pleaded guilty to failing in the duty of an employer to ensure the safety of persons not in its employment, and said it had failed to ensure the shot was safe. The court found that no risk assessment had taken place, despite a senior health and safety officer having written to the bar with concerns about the drinks' safety just months earlier.
Judge Pamela Badley said the bar's actions "fell very far short of standards".
Director Andrew Dunn, who heads up the family-run bar, was not personally prosecuted.
The court heard that Dunn was inspired to create the liquid nitrogen range of drinks after having seen them in the Berkeley hotel in London, and finding their "dramatic effect" to be "alluring". The shot in question had been made with the nitrogen, which was intended to create a cloud of smoke in the glass. However, contrary to health recommendations, liquid nitrogen remained present before Scanlon took a drink, and it then perforated her stomach wall.
She later had her stomach removed, and oesophagus connected directly to her small bowel. She now suffers intense pain, has to avoid some foods, and no longer takes pleasure in eating, she said.
Dunn and family were "mortified" at the case, and apologised to Scanlon and her family for the "errors and misjudgements".
The case prompted the tabling of a debate in Parliament by David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale in Lancashire, after he wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron and the Food Standards Agency, urging them to ban the sale of drinks made with liquid nitrogen.
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