5 vomit blood after being served dry ice as mouth freshener at Gurugram resto: What is 'dry ice'? Why is it dangerous?

NewsBharati    05-Mar-2024 17:02:49 PM
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Gurugram, March 5: In a shocking development, five people fell ill after consuming a mouth freshener containing dry ice after having dinner at a restaurant in Gurugram, police said on Monday. The owner of the eatery was later arrested. A video of them vomiting blood and complaining of a burning sensation is going viral on social media. 
gurugram restaurant dry ice mouth freshener

What happened?

According to a complaint lodged by Ankit Kumar, a resident of Greater Noida, went to a restaurant in Sector 90 here with his wife and four friends for dinner on Saturday. After the dinner, a waiter at the restaurant brought mouth freshener and five people in the group had it. Their health deteriorated soon after and they were taken to a hospital, Mr. Kumar said, adding that the restaurant staff fled.

"I showed the packet of the mouth freshener to a doctor, who said it was dry ice. According to the doctor, it is an acid which can lead to death," the complainant said.

Kumar informed police about the incident. After consuming the mouth freshener, the five people complained of a burning sensation in their mouths. Their mouths started bleeding and they were vomiting, police said.

Based on the complaint, police said, an FIR was registered under sections 328 (causing hurt by means of poison) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Kherki Daula police station on Sunday.

What is dry ice?

Dry ice is the solid form of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and is extremely cold, with a temperature of about -78 degrees Celsius. This is much colder than the freezing point of water, which is 0 degrees Celsius.

According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), it is commonly used as a cooling agent for food products like ice cream, frozen desserts etc. It is frequently used for food items that are needed to be cold or frozen, without the use of mechanical cooling.

How dangerous is dry ice?

While it is not hazardous under normal handling and usage, direct contact with dry ice can cause frostbite or cold burns due to its extremely low temperature.

Additionally, if dry ice is exposed to warmer temperatures, it undergoes sublimation, transitioning directly from a solid to a gas, producing carbon dioxide gas. In confined spaces, this release of carbon dioxide gas can displace oxygen, leading to potential health risks.