Restaurant lost $190 million in value after dead rat found in soup

Lamar Ellis
September 14, 2018

The woman, identified only as Ms Gao, was having dinner with her husband Mr Ma at a Xiabu Xiabu restaurant in Weifang City last week.

The restaurant released a now-deleted statement on Saturday saying that it had "ruled out" the possibility that a lack of hygiene had caused the deceased rat to end up in the hotpot.

The local market supervision authority has launched an investigation into the incident and the outlet where the rat was discovered has been shut down. Ma alleges that restaurant staff offered the couple cash for an abortion if they were anxious about the health of the baby after eating the rat soup.

Mr Ma said he and his wife went to the hospital where she had a checkup to ensure the baby was healthy.

Many were shocked and disgusted by this story - grossed out by the photos that circulated on Weibo.

As reported by Kankan News, the woman and her husband were offered the equivalent of £559 in compensation by the restaurant at the time of the incident.

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"I feel like vomiting", wrote one person. "I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again", said one user.

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

Health officials investigated the restaurant and found no traces of rats, but shut down the location for other violations, including pooled water in the food processing areas and using produce suppliers without full qualifications.

Hotpot soups are a popular Chinese dish where seasoned broth is placed, simmering, at the table in front of you as the items are added in.

Xiabu Xiabu Catering Management China Holdings Co. share prices fell by as much as 11% in Hong Kong on 11 September, but have since risen to HK$10.68 from a HK$9.64 low. According to Thrillist, the ingredients commonly include fresh meats, tofu, various vegetables, and noodles.

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