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Poppy Opiate Used at Foshan Restaurant to Make Food “Tastier”

Posted: 04/15/2014 7:30 am

If you have found yourself addicted to a specific stewed duck or goose dish at a restaurant in Shishan in Foshan, well, it might actually be addiction.

A restaurant located in Foshan’s Nanhai district was found to have been adding an illegal poppy opiate to their stewed meat dishes since December 2011 in order to make them “tastier”, Yangcheng Evening News reported on April 13.

The restaurant’s unscrupulous act was exposed in late February this year when 10 men from a KTV club were tested positive for morphine in a police check. The initial suspicion was drugs, but one person surnamed Cao insisted he and his friends didn’t use drugs and suspected the dishes they had earlier that evening.

Taking the hint, the police raided the restaurant in question the following day. A thorough check of the kitchen led to the discovery of a brown-colored bottle containing opium, morphine, poppy pods and other illegal additives. According to the report, the “spice” was regularly given to the chef by the restaurant owner. Each day, the special spice was used around 10 times, mainly in stewed duck and goose. Within half a month, a bottle of approximately 100 grams could be consumed, the report said.

On April 11, the restaurant owner and the chef were arrested for using the illegal additives and endangering customers’ health.

Poppy seeds are not uncommon in Guangdong or throughout parts of China. It was traditionally used in dishes until recently banned. In Chongqing, it has been routinely used in hotpot dishes. Some mala tang (麻辣烫) and marinated foods also use poppy seedpods for extra flavors.

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