Restaurant Owner Hooks Customers with Opium-Laced Noodles

Chinese noodle vendor in the Shaanxi province admits to slipping opium into his noodle recipes to get customers addicted

Note: These delicious-looking Chinese noodles are not of the opium-laced variety.

This guy’s Chinese noodles may have been tasty, but there was more to his restaurant business than meets the eye. An anonymous noodle vendor in the Shaanxi province has been detained for 15 days after admitting that he laced his noodles with opium poppy to improve the flavor and also to “improve business,” which seems to imply that he was literally getting his customers addicted to his street food.

The bizarre situation came to light after police stopped a man and tested him for drugs, not long after he had consumed the suspicious noodles. When questioned, the owner admitted to buying two kilograms of opium in August and adding it to his food. The restaurant owner was released after 15 days in prison, but could face more jail time.

Police confirmed that patrons have a very low risk of becoming addicted to opium, even if they had consumed the noodles every day. Lacing food with opium poppy is actually not an unusual occurrence in China, and arrests have happened in 2010 and 2012.

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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi