Spiked! Hot Pot Restaurant Uses Morphine as Flavoring

By Natallia Slimani, April 22, 2016

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And we’re back talking about hot pot. Sometimes a bad trend just gets a life of its own – and just after one hot pot restaurant got busted for unsanitary food practices and another had a 7-year-old girl fall out of a second floor window, a restaurant in Shenzhen’s Bao’an District was found using morphine in their hot pot broth, according to Shenzhen Daily.

The opioid issue came to light when two temporary workers from Guizhou were accused of taking drugs and given a 15-day administrative detention. The two men had allegedly taken heroin and were detained by the police on Songgang Lu in Bao’an District.

However, upon their release on April 10, both men firmly denied having consumed any illegal substances and instead pointed fingers at a local hot pot restaurant, where the two had dined the evening of their arrest.

Following the claims, a reporter from Southern Metropolis Daily went to the hot pot restaurant with the two men and ordered lamb hot pot. The owner of the restaurant called the dish “a house special” and after the food arrived at the table, the reporter asked for the food to go. The soup then found its way to the Food and Drug Administration of Bao’an District, where it tested positive for morphine.

On April 13, the Songgang office of the Food and Drug Administration inspected the restaurant and found a package with white powder in a cabinet. As packages with white powder naturally arouse suspicion, the officers asked the restaurant owner what the substance was and where she obtained it.

Defending herself with a statement that could have been picked up from a CSI episode, she said: “A customer left [the powder] here and never showed up again. I don’t know what it is and have never used it.”

It was later confirmed by police that the restaurant was using morphine as flavoring – one that, we are guessing, kept a steady line at the door.

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