Watch any cooking show on television these days and you may notice that “molecular gastronomy” is all the rage. Chefs are experimenting with recipes that produce amazing and delightful chemical reactions for the pleasure of diners everywhere.
It was probably only a matter of time before something went seriously wrong. A 45-year-old Florida woman was seriously injured after a waiter casually threw a little liquid nitrogen in her glass of water after she commented on its use on another patron’s food.
The woman, a diner at The Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach, instantly knew there was a problem after she took a drink. Instead of a pleasant experience, she felt instant pain as if there was an “explosion” in her chest. She fell to the floor, vomiting and in extreme pain.
Indeed, there may as well have been an explosion inside her body. The victim ended up being transported to the hospital where she was placed in intensive care. Ultimately, she had to have surgery to remove her gall bladder. Parts of her stomach, burned by the ultra-cold liquid nitrogen, also had to be removed. The victim now suffers from digestive issues that will never fully heal.
Having just watched the waiter use the liquid nitrogen on another table’s dessert, the woman had no reason to believe that drinking the water would be dangerous. After all, she certainly had reason to assume that the chef knew what he was doing when he poured the substance into her drink to entertain her.
While this kind of situation is relatively uncommon, there may be more incidents in the future as interest in molecular gastronomy — and the showmanship involved — increases. If you’re injured in a restaurant due to someone’s negligence, find out more about how you can be compensated for your suffering and losses.