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

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 outlet in Shandong has been temporarily shut down following the find last week.

Quickly, the story spread online, along with video and images of the rat being fished out of the hot pot with a pair of chopsticks, thoroughly sullying the name of Xiabu Xiabu, a generally beloved Beijing-based chain with hundreds of outlets across China.

The rat was found last week at a branch of the chain, Xiabu Xiabu, in Weifang, a city in the eastern province of Shandong.

The woman and her husband were eating at the restaurant Thursday night when she discovered the dead rat in the hotpot - and claims restaurant staff offered her money to get an abortion if the meal affected her unborn baby's health, according to reports.

When her husband alerted the staff, they allegedly offered the couple 20,000 yuan (S$4,000) to get an abortion if they were anxious about their baby's health, KanKan News reported.

The outlet reportedly offered her 5,000 yuan (£559, $729) as compensation.

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

Another shocked user said: "If something happens to her baby how are they going to compensate her?"

After the incident, Xiabu Xiabu's market value fell by 11 per cent(S$291 million) on Tuesday (Sept 11). "Is a life worth only 20,000 yuan?"

However inspectors found that some of the restaurant's suppliers did not have proper qualifications.

They put out a statement Saturday saying they'd "ruled out" that lack of hygiene caused the rat to end up in the soup - but then deleted it. Customers dip pieces of raw meat and vegetables into a big Value-Added Tax of simmering broth until everything cooks and bubbles to the surface.

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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