A 12-year-old Girl Develops Hole in Stomach After Eating Liquid Nitrogen Paan at a Wedding Reception

A 12-year-old girl required surgery after developing a hole in her stomach from consuming a liquid nitrogen-infused paan at a wedding reception, according to doctors at Narayana Multispecialty Hospital in Bengaluru.

Indian street food is known for its weird and yet tasty experimentation and amalgamation, but they can be sometimes dangerous too.

In a recent news a 12-year-old girl developed a hole in her stomach after eating a liquid nitrogen-infused paan at a wedding reception.

According to doctors at Narayana Multispecialty Hospital in Bengaluru’s HSR Layout, where the girl underwent surgery.

What is Liquid Nitrogen?

Liquid nitrogen is simply nitrogen that has gone from its natural gaseous state to a liquid state.

Why Liquid Nitrogen Indigestion is dangerous?
liquid nitrogen causes a tremendous amount of force to be generated as it vaporizes in an enclosed space. It can damage the skin and pose more severe health threats.

What Happened to the Patient?

Dr Vijay H S, operating surgeon (surgical gastroenterology), said in a statement issued on Monday, “The patient underwent exploratory laparotomy with intra-op-OGD scopy, and sleeve gastrectomy was swiftly conducted to address the critical condition. There was an unhealthy patch of about 4×5 cm on the lesser curvature of the stomach, which was taken care of with sleeve resection (a part of the stomach was removed). Post surgery she had two days of ICU stay and got discharged after six days,”

He further added, “If not handled with caution, molecular gastronomy and safety may not go hand in hand. Multiple cases have been reported in different parts of India. One such case was reported in Gurugram back in 2017, when a person drank a cocktail infused with liquid nitrogen. We need to take these isolated incidents seriously before they become a pattern,”

Previous incidents

1. In another recent incident, a video of a boy from Tamil Nadu went viral, showing him screaming in pain after eating a “smoking biscuit.” The boy was hospitalized, prompting the state government’s food safety department (FSD) to ban the use of liquid nitrogen in foods, deeming smoking biscuits and liquid nitrogen-laced foods “dangerous.”

The department instructed designated officers and food safety officers to take enforcement action under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 against any Food Business Operator using liquid nitrogen for direct consumption in items like biscuits, ice creams, and wafer biscuits. They emphasized that liquid nitrogen should be fully evaporated from food or drinks before serving.

In contrast, Karnataka has not imposed such a ban. According to a report by The New Indian Express, a senior official from the state health department stated that food safety officers have been asked to take action against such misuse if found, under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. However, a detailed directive on the use of liquid nitrogen has not yet been issued.

Improper use of liquid nitrogen in foods or mishandling can cause severe injuries, as it can scorch organs or body parts on contact, resulting in burns that resemble frostbite.


2. In 2017, a businessman from Gurugram had to undergo partial stomach removal after consuming a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen. He experienced excruciating pain and severe stomach swelling shortly after drinking it. A CT scan revealed a 10 cm hole in the lower part of his stomach.

“Liquid nitrogen can damage the lips, tongue, throat, lungs, and stomach. It may cause lesions or burn tissues. If it reaches the stomach, the organ could get perforated. In the lungs, it could produce carbon dioxide, leading to unconsciousness, and it could even be fatal,” P. Satheesh Kumar, designated officer of the FSD in Chennai, told The Hindu.

Another expert, Dr Pranav Honnavara Srinivasan – senior consultant of surgical gastroenterology at Bengaluru’s Sparsh Hospital – told The Indian Express: “Liquid nitrogen is employed in culinary settings primarily for its rapid freezing capabilities and dramatic visual effect. At -196 degrees Celsius, it instantly freezes food, creating a smooth texture especially beneficial in high-end desserts like ice cream. It also vapourises swiftly at room temperature, adding a visually appealing fog effect to dishes. However, the extreme cold can pose risks if residues remain in the food when consumed.”