Restaurants are full of cleaning chemicals. It is true they are stored
separately from food, but they do come into contact with items that are used in
food preparation or in the case of tea urns, the service of a beverage.There is a chemical that is used to clean tea and coffee urns that is highly
toxic and can cause burns (gloves must be worn when using it). After the
chemical is applied the tea or coffee urn must be thoroughly rinsed, sanitized
and free of the chemical's residue.I would not jump to a
conclusion of intentional poisoning. I think a more likely conclusion is that a
lazy worker dumped in a cleaning chemical without rinsing or sanitizing
afterwards. It is also possible that the employee had not completed the cleaning
process and another worker decided to use the urn.It is a sad story,
no one going out to eat would expect to end up hospitalized. Additionally, I
think it is also very likely that every employee who touched the tea urn is
going back through their mind and trying to remember any contact they had with
the urn and hoping they did cause the incident.
The state really needs to require that restaurants post the Health Departments
inspection rating in a clear and visible place making it much easier for
customers to make informed dining decisions. Plus I believe it would force
businesses to show greater care and concern for the way they prepare and handle
This could be an "accident" in that it was not a willful intended
act.However proper storage and labeling issues remain to be
resolved. Foods and cleaning supplies need to properly labeled, and stored
separately.Has anyone thought to question the ability of the
operator or staff to properly read and follow the labels on both food and
cleaning supplies as well as the store/company protocols regarding these items.
Don't let Mormons make tea or coffee. Any other cook would likely have
tasted the drink to determine the sweetness of the beverage, after adding what
was thought to be sugar. The mistake would have been caught before the public
was put at risk. However, the cook would be the one in the hospital. I suspect
this was a tragic mistake caused by someone's gross carelessness. A
poisonous substance should never be put in an unmarked container.I
had a friend that had poured some strong hydrogen peroxide into a cup and set it
on the table. A few minutes later, absent mindedly picked it up thought it was
water and took a drink. Sometimes people just do things without thinking.
I have some insights. Lye and water mixed together make sodium hydroxide. Lye is
used in cleaning drains as well and looks an awful lot like sugar. They may have
put it in a bowl for some reason and someone mistook it for sugar?
Were any of those who have posted at the reastaurant when the incident occurred?
How about letting the police investigate and then let the courts
decide who owes whom?
An accident? Hardly.Obviously, the fluid was used to clean out the
container and it was not properly poured out and rinsed.It takes several
steps in a restaurant cleaning process to miss doing that...INCLUDING looking
inside when you make a fresh batch of "powdered tea and sugar".
Most likely a disgruntled employee trying to get back at his employer. Law suit
I agree with UtahBruin. Somebody did this intentionally and should be held
accountable. This was not an accident. It was attempted homicide.
Accident? Really? A cleaning product mixed with tea. That is not an accident.
In restaurants those types of products are never around food, or the health
department would have shut them down, and or been written up with a violation.
This is not an accident, I will even go as far as to say that is not just my
opinion, that is fact even thought the story states otherwise.