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Woman Who Drank Chemical-Laced Tea at Utah Restaurant Improving

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 2:45pm
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Hospital officials say a woman who unknowingly drank iced tea laced with an industrial cleaning solution at a Utah restaurant is starting to recover.

University of Utah hospital officials say Jan Harding's condition was upgraded Sunday evening to serious.

The 67-year-old woman had been in critical condition since Aug. 10, when she drank the sweetened iced tea at Dickey's Barbecue in South Jordan, a Salt Lake City suburb. Family attorney Paxton Guymon has said the chemicals caused deep, ulcerated burns in her upper esophagus.

Guymon says Harding is now able to speak, albeit in a strained voice. Her breathing tube was removed over the weekend.

Authorities have said a restaurant employee unintentionally put the heavy-duty cleaner in a sugar bag, and a worker later mistakenly mixed it into the iced tea dispenser.

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