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Chinese Restaurant Served Noodles Laced with Opium Poppy

Update Date: Sep 24, 2014 03:19 PM EDT
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A popular noodle joint in China has been serving its customers food laced with poppy. When one of its regulars tested positive during a routine drug test, the owner of the food joint spilled the beans to cops.

According to BBC, the owner of the restaurant in Yan'an in Shaanxi province was held when one of its customers 26-year old Liu Juyou tested positive for drugs during a routine traffic urine test. Though Juyou pleaded with the cops saying he had never touched banned substances, he was detained. He later suspected that the noodles he had taken at the restaurant contained an off-menu substance. He persuaded his family to eat at the restaurant and get tested.

Liu's family had food at the restaurant and later tested positive. They convinced police that Liu had ingested the substance at the noodle joint. The cops then launched an investigation and cracked the whip on the owner, who is identified only as Zhang. Zhang told the investigators that his secret powder ingredient contained crushed poppy shells which he thought would ensure a steady flow of loyal customers. He was later detained for 10 days.

South China Morning Post reported that the restaurant owner had confessed to purchasing 2 kg poppy shells in August and added it to food to attract customers. The addictive opium, is derived from poppy. Opium is also used to make drugs like heroin.

Poppy was used an ingredient before its ban in China. CNN reported that similar incidents came to light in 2010 and 2012.

In this case, though the restaurant owner confessed guilt, the police did not overturn Liu's detention, maintaining that drug users would also be punished. Police also said that Liu tested positive owing to continual build-up of the drug in his body. If taken constantly, the food would producing an addictive effect.  

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