Chinese noodle chef tries to hook customers using opium poppy shells

The South China Morning Post reports on a noodle shop chef who was secretly adding opium poppy shells used for the creation of opium and heroin. His hope was that the ingredient would make customers addicted to his food but, while the ingredient triggered a drug positive, it only landed him in jail.

According to The South China Morning Post:

The restaurant's activities came to light after one customer, Liu Juyou, 26, tested positive during a routine urine test under an anti-drink-driving programme, the Xian Evening News reported on Tuesday.

He said he never touched illegal substances, so was shocked by the test result.

Liu was detained for 15 days from September 3, unable to convince police that the drug, he suspected, might have come from the food from a noodle shop he frequented.

Liu asked his family to help him test the theory, eating noodles at the restaurant and going home to take urine tests. When the relatives also tested positive for drugs, they alerted the police, who launched an investigation.


Apparently, he got the idea because the poppy shells were used in "a popular hot pot sauce until the product was banned."

Honestly, I thought that adding a dash of heroin was standard practice in good ramen, pizza, paella, tortilla de patata, and Shake Shack burgers. Otherwise I can't explain my painful addiction to all these.

Now, if you excuse me, I need go out to grab some noodles. I will leave you with a great scene from the Japanese movie Tampopo which tells you how to properly eat ramen:

God, I'm so hungry now.

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Two things to add here:

- The guy who tested positive after eating the noodles is still in jail on drug charges ("It's still drug use" says the police chief). Though given our stupid laws and zero tolerance crap I'm sure that could happen in the US too.

- This happens all the time around Shaanxi and Shanghai. There are several busts a year, and those are just the ones that get caught. Two years ago seven different hotpot places in Ningxia were busted for using morphine. If there's any way they can make an extra yuan, they'll do it.