Hydrochloric acid sprinkled on Sonny's customer's food - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Hydrochloric acid sprinkled on Sonny's customer's food

David Milstead David Milstead

By Jana Eschbach bio | email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Hydrochloric acid was accidentally sprinkled on a couple's food at a local Sonny's restaurant. The substance is so toxic, doctors say, it could have killed anyone who ingested more than a crumb.

It happened at the Sonny's Barbeque located on 441 and Okeechobee. A regular customer came in Tuesday for lunch with his wife. On his food, he noticed a salt-like substance.

The next thing he knew, his wife rushed him to the hospital. "It just lit me on fire. My tongue started bleeding and just burning, and then I started spitting it out," described David Milstead from his Palms West Hospital bed.

He now has second degree burns on his tongue and throat after eating at the Sonny's restaurant. "I told them I could not breathe, and I showed them my tongue is bleeding, my mouth is bleeding. And, they said, 'Oh my God, and they got the manager. And he asked me, at the time, did I want something else or some water? I said, 'No, I can't breathe. I am going to the hospital."

The powder was from a container of Victoria Bay Deep Fat Fryer Cleaner. "You have to put on heavy gloves, masks, goggles, everything to keep from touching or breathing on it. That is what they do when they use this stuff," said a Sonny's spokesperson.

Sonny's does not admit to the poisoning, and, in a statement, says, "In this isolated incident, Sonny's handled the situation proactively by calling EMT and providing the necessary information to give to doctors."

An employee at the Sonny's told David what he ingested. Now, Sonny's corporate office says they want to pay all of David's medical bills. David response to that: "Paying my medical bills is great, but it could have killed me, could have killed my wife."

The owner said, "We genuinely care about the guest who has been one of our regulars for years. We would welcome the opportunity to remedy this situation."

Right now, David just wonders if anyone else is also sick.

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