Chinese restaurant serves dead rat in soup, loses $190m in market value

A rat was discovered in a hotpot restaurant in eastern China

SCREENSHOT SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST A rat was discovered in a hotpot restaurant in eastern China

The husband, identified only as Mr. Ma by local outlet Kankan News, said a staffer had the gall to say his wife should get an abortion if she was anxious about the baby, offering over $2,000 for the procedure.

The pregnant woman who had been out for hotpot with her family on 6 September, found the dead rat in her meal after she had already taken a few bites from the dish.

After video footage of the dead rat in the woman's soup circulated on social media, the chain's shares dropped by 12%, losing £145m in value to reach its lowest level since October previous year, before regaining value.

"I feel like vomiting", wrote one person. Reportedly, the owner offered 5,000 yuan in compensation until hearing that one of the diners was pregnant. "I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again", said a Weibo user.

The outlet in Shandong province has now been temporarily suspended.

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By the close of trading on Tuesday, shares in the chain's parent company, Xiabuxiabu Catering Management, had fallen almost 12.5 per cent, at one point dropping to their lowest in nearly a year. "I can't believe this", another commented. "Is a life worth only 20,000 yuan?"

Authorities in Weifang city, the restaurant branch where the rat was found, said they would conduct investigations into Xiabu Xiabu's restaurant.

Xiabu Xiabu initially released a statement Saturday night saying that it had "ruled out the possibility that an unhygienic environment has caused the rat to appear", but that statement was later deleted.

Hotpot, a bubbling Value-Added Tax of broth in which diners dip pieces of meat and other morsels, is a beloved family meal in China, especially when the weather starts to cool down.

Diners were eating hot pot, raw meat and vegetables cooked in boiling soup at the table, when they found an unexpected ingredient - a boiled rat.

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