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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Liquid nitrogen ice cream not to be offered at Picnic Day 2017


Environmental Health and Safety denies approval of liquid nitrogen ice cream stand

The UC Davis Student Chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AlChE) will be unable to provide its staple liquid nitrogen-frozen ice cream at this year’s Picnic Day due to lack of approval from UC Davis Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S).

Although the AlChE has distributed ice cream and sorbet frozen with liquid nitrogen for the past 13 years, the organization was unable to secure the approval of the EH&S as a result of a safety protocols change.

Randy Xie, a third-year chemical engineering major and the AlChE’s president, said that even though the club will be unable to provide its product, they are working to make a related substitute for this year’s Picnic Day.

“While our association and the engineering department worked closely with UC Davis Environmental Health and Safety to approve this event, we were unable to pass this booth this year despite having done this event for over 13 years at Picnic Day,” Xie said via email. “I, along with my officers are working to have an ice-cream related substitute for this booth in time for Picnic Day that abides with their sudden changes in safety protocol.”

AlChE declined to discuss the reasoning behind the EH&S’s disapproval, as they are still involved in negotiations to bring back the liquid nitrogen treats next year.

To be frank, I am hesitant to speak out at this time about the decision by EH&S to not approve the activity this year,” said Tonya Kuhl, a chemical engineering professor and the club’s faculty advisor, via email. “We fear that EH&S will continue to ban liquid nitrogen in the future and are in on-going discussions to ensure the activity can be held in the future.”

Karen Gonzalez, a fourth-year political science and history major, expressed disappointment regarding the absence of this Picnic Day tradition.

Really, [it] sucks that out of nowhere that would happen,” Gonzalez said. “I know we’ve had it for a long time; it is very upsetting to see a tradition end!”
Written by: Emily Shintani — campus@theaggie.org


  1. Hey Aggie: File a public records request for correspondence between the university and the club regarding the liquid nitrogen fiasco. The university is obligated to give it to you under the California Public Records Act.


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