Popular Chinese Restaurants Secretly Used Opium to Season Their Food

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35 Chinese restaurants found success through their “secret seasoning,” opium.

China Daily reported that the Chinese government is investigating 35 Chinese restaurants that illegally used opium poppies to season their foods. Five of the restaurants have been shut down by authorities, while the remaining 30 are being investigated by the China Food and Drug Administration.

China’s Food Safety Law prohibits the use of non-food chemicals in the production of food, but restaurants still continue to “season” and produce their food using small amounts of highly addictive narcotics. In 2009, Chinese officials closed 215 restaurants and businesses for using opium-based meals.

Not surprising, most of the restaurants under investigation are popular among locals and tourists. The most notable restaurant among the accused is the Huda Restaurant chain in Beijing. They informed BBC that they were not aware that the seasoning used in their chains were opium based, and they may have unknowingly bought them.

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