Woman in critical condition after drinking ‘highly toxic substance’ in sweet tea

Posted at 9:39 AM, Aug 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-14 09:39:19-04

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — A 67-year-old woman is in critical condition after drinking sweet tea at a Dickey’s Barbecue Pit restaurant in Utah that contained a toxic industrial cleaning chemical, police told KSTU.

Seconds after tasting the drink, the woman’s mouth and throat started to burn, police said. An analysis of the drink found cleaning chemicals in the tea.

The woman was rushed to a local hospital and later transported to the University of Utah where she is listed in critical condition as of Wednesday night.

The cleaning solution found in the sweet tea is made up of 67 percent sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda or lye, a chemical that can be deadly when ingested. The solution is typically used by restaurant employees to clean the fryers.

No other customers were affected by the tainted sweet tea.

“Is it something that was stored improperly? Was it an accident? Was it intentional? We really don’t know. That’s why our investigators are looking into this case,” Officer Sam Winkler of South Jordan Police Department told KSTU.

Read more: KSTU