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Sunday, 20 September 2015

Wine bar fined £100k after teen loses stomach!

A Lancaster wine bar has been fined £100,000 after giving a teenager a free liquid nitrogen cocktail which resulted in her having her stomach removed.

The incident happened at Oscar’s Wine Bar and Bistro in Lancaster, where Gaby Scanlon, now 20, had been celebrating her 18th birthday with friends.
A bar tender offered Miss Scanlon a Nitro-Jaegermeister shot, which usually cost £3.95, free of charge.
Moments after Miss Scanlon drank the shot, smoke began pouring from her mouth and nose. She was left “in agonising pain” after experiencing an “explosion” in her stomach, Preston Crown Court heard.
Miss Scanlon, from Heysham, Lancashire, was rushed to Lancaster Royal Infirmary where she underwent emergency surgery to remove her stomach and part of her small bowel in order to save her life.
Oscar’s Wine Bar and Bistro pleaded guilty to one count of failing in the duty of an employer to ensure the safety of persons not in its employment, admitting it failed to ensure the cocktail was safe to drink, the Telegraph reported.
The Nitro-Jaegermeister cocktail was one of several liquid-nitrogen cocktails served at the wine bar after its director, Andrew Dunn, saw similar drinks being served at the Berkeley Hotel in London, the court heard.
Dunn, of York, pleaded not guilty to being part of a corporate employer which failed in its duty to ensure the safety of persons not in its employment. No prosecution was made against him after a £20,000 payment towards court costs was received.
A verdict of not guilty was accepted against barman Matthew Harding, who denied failing in his duty to take reasonable care for the health and safety of others at work.
The court heard how no risk assessment had been carried out by Oscar’s Wine Bar and Bistro regarding the dangers of liquid nitrogen, but that staff were told to wait 10 seconds until the liquid nitrogen had boiled off before consumption. The 10 seconds was described as an “arbitrary figure”. 
As reported in the drinks business, the incident, which happened in 2012, prompted MPs to debate whether to ban drinks containing liquid nitrogen.
David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, told the Commons: “As we know, there are lots of laws and regulations on the food and drink we consume, and it is illegal to serve anything that is injurious to health, but how many people know of the dangers of liquid nitrogen used in this fashion? Gaby Scanlon did not know, and, had I been in that bar at the time, I would not have known.
“When someone walks into a bar or restaurant in this country, they have a right to know that what is being served is safe, and the House has a duty to enforce that right.
“I do not support greater vigilance; I support an outright ban.”

Source: www.thedrinksbusiness.com

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