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Monday, December 14, 1998 Published at 10:55 GMT


Spoons cause drugs stir

McDonald's spoons can measure out 100ml of powder

The fast food giant McDonald's has withdrawn its plastic spoons after fears that drug dealers have been using them to measure out doses of heroin.

Police found the spoons in the homes of suspected drug dealers during a series of raids in Scotland.

McDonald's replaced the spoons with flat stirrers a few months ago after police advised that the plastic spoons could be used for mixing drugs.

Drug dealers are said to prefer using the spoons instead of scales to measure and mix heroin with glucose or milk powder.

Sets of scales, if found, can be used as incriminating evidence.

Design change

"There was a design change a few months ago and use by drug dealers was one of the issues we were looking at after consultation with the police," said a McDonald's spokeswoman. "The new stirrers are being phased in over a period of time."

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Police, which made the discovery, said: "I can confirm that some of the old-style spoons were found in the homes of suspected drug dealers. Some of the spoons were obtained by police as evidence."

Police recovered drugs and cash worth more than 500,000, along with guns and stolen property after raids on 250 homes during Operation Foil in the Edinburgh area last week.

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