What is Dry Ice and How Did It Cause a Health Scare At A Gurugram Restaurant? [2024]

What is Dry Ice and How Does It Work? | What Happened at the Gurugram Restaurant? | How to Use Dry Ice Safely and Responsibly? | what happened at a Gurugram restaurant where several people fell ill after consuming drinks with dry ice

what is dry ice and how did it cause a health scare at a Gurugram restaurant?: Dry ice is a common name for solid carbon dioxide (CO2). It is called dry ice because it does not melt into liquid, but sublimates directly into gas. Dry ice is often used for various purposes, such as preserving food, creating special effects, and cooling drinks. However, dry ice can also pose some serious health risks if not handled properly. In this blog post, we will explain what dry ice is, how it works, and what happened at a Gurugram restaurant where several people fell ill after consuming drinks with dry ice.

what is dry ice and how did it cause a health scare at a Gurugram restaurant?

what is dry ice and how did it cause a health scare

What is Dry Ice and How Does It Work?

Dry ice is made by compressing and cooling carbon dioxide gas until it becomes solid. The solid CO2 is then cut into blocks or pellets of different sizes and shapes. Dry ice has a very low temperature of about -78°C, which makes it extremely cold to touch. Dry ice also has a very high vapor pressure, which means that it constantly releases CO2 gas into the air. This gas is colorless, odorless, and heavier than air.

Dry ice is often used for its cooling and freezing properties. For example, dry ice can keep food fresh for longer periods of time, especially when refrigeration is not available. Dry ice can also create fog-like effects when it comes in contact with water or other liquids. This is because the cold CO2 gas condenses the moisture in the air, forming tiny droplets that look like smoke or mist. Dry ice can also make drinks fizzy and bubbly by dissolving some of the CO2 gas into the liquid.

However, dry ice can also be dangerous if not used carefully. Dry ice can cause frostbite or burns if it touches the skin for too long. Dry ice can also suffocate or poison people if they inhale too much of the CO2 gas. This can happen if the gas accumulates in a poorly ventilated area, or if people put dry ice in their mouths or drinks. Dry ice can also explode or rupture if it is stored in a sealed container, as the gas pressure builds up inside.

What Happened at the Gurugram Restaurant?

On March 3, 2024, a group of 15 people visited a restaurant called Farzi Cafe in Gurugram, a city near Delhi. The restaurant is known for its fusion cuisine and molecular gastronomy, which involves using scientific techniques and ingredients to create innovative dishes and drinks. The group ordered some cocktails that were served with dry ice, which created a visual effect of smoke and bubbles.

However, soon after drinking the cocktails, some of the people started feeling unwell. They complained of nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and dizziness. They were rushed to a nearby hospital, where they were diagnosed with mild carbon dioxide poisoning. The doctors said that they had ingested too much of the dry ice, which had released CO2 gas into their stomachs and bloodstreams. The CO2 gas had caused acidosis, a condition where the blood becomes too acidic and affects the normal functioning of the organs. The doctors gave them oxygen therapy and fluids to flush out the excess CO2 from their bodies. They were discharged after a few hours, with no serious complications.

The restaurant management apologized for the incident and said that they had followed all the safety protocols while using dry ice. They said that they had used food-grade dry ice, which is approved by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). They also said that they had instructed the customers not to consume the dry ice, but to wait for it to evaporate before drinking the cocktails. They claimed that the incident was a rare and unfortunate case of human error, and that they would take extra precautions in the future.

How to Use Dry Ice Safely and Responsibly?

Dry ice can be a fun and useful substance, but it also requires caution and common sense. Here are some tips on how to use dry ice safely and responsibly:

  • Always wear gloves, goggles, and protective clothing when handling dry ice. Do not touch it with bare hands or skin, as it can cause frostbite or burns.
  • Always store dry ice in a well-ventilated area, away from children and pets. Do not store it in a freezer, refrigerator, or airtight container, as it can explode or rupture due to the gas pressure.
  • Always dispose of dry ice properly, by letting it sublimate in a safe place. Do not throw it in the trash, sink, toilet, or drain, as it can damage the pipes or cause blockages.
  • Always use dry ice in moderation, and only for its intended purpose. Do not put it in your mouth, drink, or food, as it can cause suffocation or poisoning. Do not inhale the CO2 gas, as it can cause drowsiness, headache, or unconsciousness.
  • Always follow the instructions and warnings given by the manufacturer or supplier of dry ice. Do not use dry ice that is not food-grade or certified by the FSSAI.
  • Always consult a doctor if you experience any symptoms of dry ice exposure, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, dizziness, or difficulty breathing.

Dry ice can be a cool and fun way to enhance your food and drinks, but it can also be a dangerous and deadly substance if not used properly. Be smart and safe when using dry ice, and enjoy its benefits without risking your health.

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