Customers who ate at this restaurant in Teluk Intan, Perak said that they felt weak and hallucinated after having a meal there. Now, the eatery is being investigated by the Hilir Perak District Police and the Ministry of Health.
According to Berita Harian, the restaurant is a common spot for police to dine, so when they did, some of them notice that they were feeling weaker than usual, experiencing drowsiness and starting to hallucinate.
Suspicion arose when a heavily circulated WhatsApp message alleged that a police officer and three other individuals had failed a urine test after dining at the restaurant.
The police then formed a team of operatives the morning after the incident, and found out that a cook and two of his assistants, one of whom is a foreign worker, tested positive for opioids after a urine test.
The three men have been arrested and the police have seized ingredients from the restaurant such as sauces, fried chicken, vegetables and rice. The ingredients have been sent to the Department of Chemistry in Ipoh.
But what about the food? Bernama reported that, Hilir Perak Deputy Chief of Police, Yahaya Hassan said: “The owner of the premise stated that his food does not contain any illegal substances; however, ingredients such as small amounts of poppy seed powder had been used by the cook.”
He also stated that this case will be investigated under Section 14 and Section 15 (1) (a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act (ADB) 1952.
If you didn’t know, consuming large amounts of poppy seeds is said to give side effects similar to opioids. That includes drowsiness, dehydration, respiratory depression, constipation and nausea. There’s also a rumour that if you consume even a small amount, it can potentially make you fail any urine test.
As for cooking, it’s usually used in controlled amounts and the ingredient acts as a flavour enhancer like MSG. Poppy seeds are still commonly used in restaurants. At the kedai mamak, you can find them in your curry. This is not the first time poppy seeds have made people fail their drug tests. Just last year, a woman in America tested positive for opiates after she ate a poppy seed bagel and in 2016, Malaysian police were looking into cases of unsuspecting customers consuming poppy seeds used in cakes.
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