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July 5, 2013

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Poppy shells added to soups

SHANGHAI police said yesterday they had closed two crayfish restaurants and detained the owners for adding poppy shells into soups to make them addictive.

Police are now looking for the suppliers to put an end to the illegal business as they suspect more restaurants may also be adding poppy shells into soups.

"Just shutting down one or two restaurants is not enough," said a Xuhui District police spokesman, surnamed Tao. "We want to find out where they got the poppy shells so we can stop it at its source."

Tao said ensuring food safety and cracking down on food-related crimes is vital, especially during summer.

Shanghai Food Safety Office officials said all restaurants involved in such a practice will have their business licenses revoked. The owners will be added to a black list banned from the food industry.

"We raided the two restaurants after receiving tips from an insider," said Gu Zhenhua, a Shanghai Food Safety Office spokesman. "After completing the investigation, we will publicize the names of the restaurants and reward the tipster."

Poppies are used to make morphine and codeine.


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