In the food industry, you may have to handle dry ice frequently for various meals and beverages. If you're not familiar with dry ice, you may not know how dangerous it may be. So for this reason, it's wise to understand these safety tips when dealing with dry ice.
Why Safety Matters
Think of dry ice as frozen carbon dioxide. When there's too much dry ice in gas form, CO2 can overtake the amount of oxygen in a room and lead to suffocation.
Another thing to keep in mind is that dry ice is significantly colder than regular ice. When it touches the skin, frostbite or another type of injury may happen. Also note that direct contact with food results in freezer burn.
Cover Skin: Ensure your skin is not exposed to the dry ice. This means long sleeves and pants. Thick insulated gloves are a must for direct contact. To be even more cautious, you may consider using tongs.
Ventilate: To avoid asphyxiation, you should steer clear of too much of dry ice in vapor form. So find a well-ventilated room to work with the dry ice. If you're planning on traveling by vehicle with the dry ice, then make sure you roll down the windows. For multiple people in one vehicle, see if you can place the dry ice in the cargo area and let it vent for a couple of minutes before removing.
Store Carefully: Be mindful of where you put the dry ice. Closed cans and bottles placed next to dry ice as well as dry ice in latched coolers can cause explosions. You should also layer coolers with newspaper and towels to avoid too close contact with the dry ice, which can cause cracking as the carbon dioxide vapors expand.
Purchase Wisely: When picking up dry ice, concern yourself with the amount you get. Generally, less is safer because there is less risk of exposure to vapors or frostbite. Dry ice is fairly dense and can go a long way. Plus, the ice will sublimate in a short matter of time so you'll have to buy more in the future anyway.
As you can see, dry ice can pose a lot of risks if you don't know too much about it. However, if you take these safety tips to heart, you can risk the harmful effects of this useful food item in the kitchen.
If you have specific questions about dry ice and using it safely, contact a business like Chilly Willy & Cool Carl's Ice.