By Sacha Delfosse

The NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) has announced that it will allow licensed venues to resume using liquid nitrogen for the purpose of making cocktails if they follow a set of procedures and controls.

After issuing notices to four Sydney bars (The Roosevelt, The White Hart, Zeta Bar and Kaya Bar) in October ordering them to cease using liquid nitrogen, the OLGR undertook consultations with the NSW Ministry of Health, the NSW Food Authority as well as liaising with industry. 

"These inquiries have established that liquid nitrogen is in use in the food industry as an approved additive recognised in the Food Standards Code," said OLGR Director of Compliance, Paul Newson.

"Following consultation with other responsible agencies, OLGR has formed the view that while potential health risks could exist from the use of liquid nitrogen in the service of alcoholic drinks these could be overcome through the strict use of appropriate procedures and controls by licensed venues," he said.

Since there are currently no published procedures for the use of liquid nitrogen in licensed venues, the OLGR has approached the NSW Australian Hotels Association to drive the development of industry guidelines.

"The investigation to date indicates that liquid nitrogen is used in the preparation of drinks in licensed premises and that the substance is not ingested," said Newson.

"For this reason the Australian Hotels Association is best positioned to take a leadership role in working with its members to develop appropriate guidance on the proper and safe storage, handling and supervision of liquid nitrogen at licensed premises." 

The new procedures require all staff training and induction programs to thoroughly cover the key aspects of the safe handling, storing and delivering of liquid nitrogen. A Liquid Nitrogen Staff Register will need to be kept and signed off upon completion of the training and induction course. 

Licensed venues will also need to provide quarterly assessments of all areas where liquid nitrogen is being used, including storage, delivery and handling areas.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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