In Beijing in 2010, 80 diners went to the hospital after ingesting poisoned eggplant. We’re now learning that shady agents from a rival restaurant were to blame, as they spiked the ingredients with a blood pressure medication. NPR:
In the eggplant incident, the miscreants hid the drug clonidine – a white, odorless powder – in the restaurant’s starch. When the chefs thickened up the braised eggplant with the starch, they inadvertently served up a few nearly toxic stir-fries.
All diners that ate eggplant for lunch on April 23, 2010, fell sick almost immediately, the report says. They got dizzy and tired, suffered from nausea and blurred vision, and even started vomiting.
They were seeking to gain a “competitive advantage.” Police traced the substance, and two perpetrators ended up being sentenced to one year in jail.
It’s an old story, but one for the files in the food safety department. It seems silly worrying about roadside mutton kabobs when even eggplant will try to kill you once in a while.