Toxic Tea: Utah Woman Spotted Spitting Toxic Tea In Surveillance Footage [Video]

Toxic tea in a Utah restaurant nearly killed 67-year-old Jan Harding after she took a single sip. She purchased the poisoned beverage at Dickey’s Barbeque in South Jordan on August 10, 2014. Now, surveillance footage of that day shows the moment that the woman drank the lye-laced drink. She can be seen clinging to a counter and retching as she tries to force the poisoned liquid from her body.

Harding entered the restaurant blissfully unaware of the tragedy that would soon strike. She used a self-service soft drink dispenser to pour a cup of the toxic tea. The drink was tainted with lye, a hazardous cleaning agent described by ABC as “an odorless chemical that looks like sugar, [which] is used for degreasing deep fryers and is the active ingredient in Drano.”

She spat out the toxic tea and rinsed her mouth immediately after ingesting the first sip, but it was too late. The damage was already done. The lye-laced iced tea burned the Utah woman’s esophagus and caused deep, ulcerated burns. As a result of her injuries, she was hospitalized for a period of nearly two weeks. She was unable to speak for 10 days due to the severity of the burns in her throat.

According to the Daily Mail, an employee poured the lye into a sugar bag, and then another employee transferred the substance to the soft drink machine in error, resulting in the toxic tea. In its granulated form, the agent resembles sugar. The employee or employees mistaking the substance for sugar caused the near-fatal incident when the lye was mixed into the iced tea.

Harding and her family declined to file charges against the Utah restaurant. However, they will enter into mediation with Dickey’s Barbeque in South Jordan by the end of the year to settle the matter. Prosecutors may still file charges related to the toxic tea incident.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the toxic tea incident left the woman in critical condition. That’s because the chemical found in her iced tea is highly poisonous. The cleaning agent is made up of 67 percent sodium hydroxide, a chemical that can prove fatal when ingested.

After the unfortunate incident, Harding was transported to a local hospital. She was then taken to the burn unit at the University of Utah Hospital via a medical helicopter. Harding continues to recover at home after being released from the hospital.

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