Chinese police were held in a hour-long stand-off with a suspected suicide bomber only to find the man was armed with sausages.
Police believed that the straps and bulky items around Sing He's waist were dynamite and detonators.
Mr He, 23, threatened to blow up a restaurant and its customers in Benxi, northern China, unless the staff handed over the contents of the till.
But a specialist bomb unit called to the scene quickly determined that the device was assembled with pork products.
"When we saw what he had round his waist we couldn't help laughing. Some of the sausages still had the wrappers on them," said one bomb squad officer. "It must have been terrifying for the customers but those things would only have gone off if you'd kept them past their sell by date."
Mr He told police he had planned the raid because he was depressed after breaking up with his girlfriend.
He said: "I needed some excitement in my life and to that extent it was a success."