Dozens of Restaurants in China Under Investigation for Using Opium to ‘Hook’ Customers

Tina Rivera
(Photo: OBSEV / Shutterstock)

According to the China Food and Drug Administration, five restaurants in China are being prosecuted while 30 others are under investigation for illegally using opium in their food.

As if providing a delicious meal and a sprinkle of MSG wasn’t enough, a number of hot pot restaurants in Beijing are coming under fire for improperly lacing their menu with the highly addictive narcotic in hopes of garnering “repeat” customers.

While the effectiveness of using opium to drive the restaurant biz is unknown, apparently it’s not an uncommon method. All the way back in 2004, a whopping 215 restaurants in China were busted on similar charges, leaving innocent patrons high as a kite.

Short-term side effects of opium include the feeling of euphoria, reduced anxiety, and impaired alertness and coordination (also, the potential of a mild addiction to hot pot).

It is alleged the sneaky bastards mixed the opium with chili oil and other powder-based ingredients, making it difficult for authorities to detect. 


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