By Sacha Delfosse
Both NSW and SA have banned the use of liquid nitrogen in bars following a UK incident in which a woman almost died from the alleged consumption of a liquid nitrogen cocktail.
Last week the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) ordered two Sydney cocktail bars, The Roosevelt and Zeta Bar, to "cease the promotion, sale or supply of drinks containing liquid nitrogen until OLGR's investigation is completed".
"Both bars [were] invited to make written submissions should they wish within seven days. Both bars have complied with OLGR's orders," an OLGR spokesman said.
"Any other licensed venues identified as continuing to promote, sell or supply alcoholic drinks containing liquid nitrogen should be prepared for similar compliance action by OLGR."
The Shout understands that a third Sydney bar, as yet unnamed, has also been identified and had bans placed on it. However, no NSW restaurants have so far been banned from using liquid nitrogen.
South Australia's Department of Consumer and Business Services on the other hand has introduced a ban on all uses of liquid nitrogen in both bars and restaurants, with Adelaide’s Cushdy bar one of the venues that has been targeted.
"They called me Friday morning and asked if they could come in and have a chat. All they had was a copy of the article about the girl from the UK. They had to ask me how liquid nitrogen works and what it's used for," said Cushdy owner, Shaun Pattinson.
"They then told me they were going to make an amendment to our licence banning the use of liquid nitrogen in any form, and later that day they returned with a copy of the amended licence that I had to sign."
Pattinson said the ban will not have a massive impact on the bar's cocktail sales, since only a small number are made with liquid nitrogen, but it will stop the bar "doing something we are known for".
He is also more concerned that the authorities have not made much effort to consult with venues using liquid nitrogen and that their knowledge on the subject is quite limited.
"I don’t think they even know where to start to investigate this. I’ll stay on their case but I’ll be surprised if they allow it back."
Victorian authorities say they are currently monitoring the situation before deciding if they will impose a similar ban.