A wine bar is being prosecuted by the local council after an 18-year-old girl celebrating her birthday was served liquid nitrogen in a cocktail – forcing her to have her stomach removed in an emergency operation.
Gaby Scanlon, from Heysham in Lancashire, drank two shots of Jagermeister laced with the liquid nitrogen while celebrating her 18th birthday in Oscar’s Wine Bar and Bistro, George Street, Lancaster, in 2012.
Shortly after doubling over in pain, she was taken to A&E and doctors – after performing a CT scan and discovering a large perforation – operated to remove her stomach, connecting her small intestine to her oesophagus.
Ms Scalon now faces a lifetime on a carefully controlled diet of vitamin injections, liquid replacement meals to keep her strength up, and very small, carefully prepared meals.
Lancaster Council has confirmed to The Independent that court proceedings under health and safety laws have started against the bar, one of its directors Andrew Dunn and employee Matthew George Harding.
It follows an investigation by the council into the incident.
Shortly after returning from hospital, where she spent five days in intensive care and then three weeks recovering, Ms Scalon told the Daily Mail: “I feel angry that these theatrical cocktails seem to be aimed at younger people, especially 18-year-olds who are just legally able to drink and want to go out and try these things, but it’s not worth it.”
During the operation, surgeons were shocked to discover that the chemical had burnt a hole through the teenagers stomach and completely destroyed the inside lining – necessitating the stomach’s removal.
Liquid nitrogen is often used in bars to create a ‘special effect’ cocktail, as tiny droplets of the liquid nitrogen come into contact with the surrounding air creating the smoking effect. The chemical can act as a highly dangerous asphyxiate, as well as giving cold burns to exposed skin.
She continued: “I never thought something so dangerous could be served in a bar.”
Oscar’s Bar has not responded to requests for comment.
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