Home News Restaurant in India served customers dry ice, 5 hospitalized: report

Restaurant in India served customers dry ice, 5 hospitalized: report

Five diners were hospitalized in India and reportedly were vomiting blood after police say the restaurant they were eating at poisoned them with dry ice.

Local journalists say two of the customers are reportedly in serious condition after La Forestta Cafe served them solidified carbon dioxide instead of a usual after-meal “mouth freshener,” according to The New Zealand Herald. The restaurant is located in Gurugram, about 18 miles southwest of New Delhi.

La Forestta’s manager was arrested Tuesday on charges of poisoning “with the intent to cause hurt or harm.” The owner is on the lam.

A police statement notes that staff refused to help the customers, despite their screams as their mouths bled and burnt. Graphic video of the incident reportedly taken by one of the alleged victims and obtained by The New Zealand Herald seems to support that report.

Nehu Sabharwal shared footage on Instagram Wednesday that she says are of friends who ate the dry ice.

“It happened with me and my friends,” Sabharwal captioned the disturbing clip. “Five out of six members started blood vomit after eating mouth freshner [sic] after our meal in Gurugram sector-90 at la foresta cafe. I was admitted in ICU.”

Sabharwal, who has since been discharged, is now working to ban dry ice from food establishments.

“What happened with me should never happen with any one. Senior doctor told it was DRY ICE WHICH WE CONSUMED and it’s life threatening,” she said. “Food inspection should happen and strict action should be taken.”

On Tuesday, La Forestta was hit with a notice warning the restaurant to explain within 15 days why it should not have its license revoked or suspended following the “serious negligence … regarding maintaining of food safety,” New Delhi Television Ltd. reports.

The notice orders the restaurant to “provide a complete list of food articles that were served on that day to the consumers and to inform why and how the incident took place,” per NDTV.

The New York State Department of Health warns that dry ice, which is colder than regular ice and can cause frostbite-like burns, should never be eaten or swallowed. When dry ice melts, it turns into odorless and colorless carbon dioxide gas, sufficient amounts of which can cause someone to fall unconscious. It has the potential to be fatal.

The Food and Drug Administration notes that both dry ice and liquid nitrogen “can cause severe damage to skin and internal organs if mishandled or accidentally ingested due to the extremely low temperatures they maintain” and “should not be directly consumed or allowed to directly contact exposed skin.”

Though there’s been a rarity of such incidents in retail food, the FDA noted that “injuries have been severe.”


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