Dead rat in soup costs restaurant $190m


A hotpot chain restaurant in China has been shut down after a dead rat was found floating in a boiling broth of soup. The patrons, Mr. Ma and his family, were having dinner at the hotpot chain in Shandong province.

Mr. Ma was concerned for his expectant wife - and has taken her to get checked over to be sure her and the baby are okay - after eating the rat-tainted soup.

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. He alleged that one staff member had offered 20,000 yuan ($2,900) for an abortion if she was concerned about the baby's health. "I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again", said one user.

The restaurant allegedly later offered the couple 5,000 yuan ($728) in compensation for the incident - a price he was willing to negotiate after the hospital visit, he told the newspaper. Others were upset about the staff offering money for an abortion.

"If something happens to her baby how are they going to compensate her?"

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Users of Chinese social media site Weibo reacted to the photos and video with disgust, with one person writing: "I feel like vomiting".

In a statement released to South China Morning Post Saturday night, Xiabu Xiabu said it had always placed great emphasis on food security and would make any necessary improvements. They also mentioned that they did not believe that a lack of hygiene had anything to do with it.

The rat was found at the Xiabu Xiabu restaurant in Weifang.

Hotpots are prepared with a simmering pot of soup stock at the dining table and contain a variety of east Asian foodstuffs.

After the incident, Xiabu Xiabu's market value fell by 11 per cent(S$291 million) on Tuesday (Sept 11). According to Thrillist, the ingredients commonly include fresh meats, tofu, various vegetables, and noodles.