Woman improves after drinking tainted tea from Dickey’s

Posted at 10:31 PM, Aug 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-19 00:33:38-04

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah -- The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office will be weighing in on the case of a woman who bought a toxic cup of tea from a Dickey’s Barbecue in South Jordan.

On Monday, authorities said they finished their investigation into the incident and would be handing the case over to have it screened for criminal charges.

“We still don't know if it's going to rise to a criminal level, but we want to make sure with the severity of the injuries and the severity of this case that a set of independent eyes looks at it and determines if there was in fact a criminal violation,” said Officer Sam Winkler of South Jordan Police Department.

Jan Harding, 67, has been in critical condition since last Sunday when she drank a cup of sweet tea that police say was accidentally mixed in with a cleaning chemical.

As FOX13 reported last week, a former Dickey’s employee said she mistook the cleaning chemical for sugar and mixed them together.

However, that was weeks before Harding visited the restaurant, according to the former employee, who said her managers never threw it out.

While Harding suffered severe chemical burns to her mouth, throat and esophagus, her condition was improving Monday. She was able to begin speaking, as well as walking, with support.

According to the family’s attorney, doctors are scheduled to perform a procedure on Wednesday to see how her wounds are internally healing.