Restaurant loses $190m in value after dead rat found in soup

Sergio Conner
September 14, 2018

"If you are anxious about the baby, then we'll give you 20,000 yuan ($3,000) to abort it", Ma says the staff told him, South China Morning Post reports.

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.

The well-known chain, Xiabu Xiabu, was closed for an investigation by health officials after the incident occurred and stock hit the lowest level in nearly a year after news spread, the BBC reports.

The woman's husband, Mr Ma, said he alerted restaurant staff to the situation and was offered cash for abortion if they were anxious about the health of the baby.

The eatery in Weifang city offered $729 in compensation - but the woman's hubby refused, saying he wants his wife to get a full body check-up first.

The outlet in Shandong province has now been temporarily suspended, a BBC report said on Thursday.

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For one Chinese restaurant chain, however, an item found by a customer at one of its outlets has proved to be particularly costly: a rat. "I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again", said a Weibo user.

By Sept. 11, the company's share price hit the lowest level since October of past year.

By September 11th, the company's stock price had dropped by over 12 percent, causing it to lose 1.3 billion yuan ($190 million) in market value.

Another user asked: "If something happens to her baby, how are they going to compensate her?" Over the years, rats falling from the ceiling and climbing up customers trousers at hot pot restaurants around China appear to have done little to diminish Chinese diners' appetite for the simmering soup.

In a statement released to the South China Morning Post, Xiabu Xiabu said it had always placed great emphasis on food security and would make any necessary improvements.

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