Chemical mistaken as cheese sickens teen - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Chemical mistaken as cheese sickens teen

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EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WHDH) - A teen from western Massachusetts got sick after eating french fries mistakenly sprinkled with chemicals, instead of cheese.

Health officials say the teen immediately got sick after eating the food at Riff's Joint in Easthampton Sunday. She was treated for minor chemical burns in her mouth and is expected to be okay.

The restaurant says no one else ate the chemicals. Sodium hydroxide is used for cleaning grills. It comes in a white granular or flaked form that looks a lot like grated cheese.

The teen says at first, she didn't know that anything was wrong.

"It felt at first like I bit into hot grease, the burning sensation but then it stung my throat and mouth went numb. I thought I was having an allergic reaction to the seasoning so I was continuously rinsing out my mouth with water which kept reactivating the chemicals," Jessica Connor said.

Health officials say the powdered chemical was in an unlabeled container and somehow got mixed into the Parmesan cheese.

Connor said she knows it was an honest mistake and is not looking to sue.

"You know, everyone sees money signs the minute this thing happens and I'm sitting here actually wanting this food half the time so I'm just gonna keep going back and eating at the restaurant."

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