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

Shares in the Xiabu Xiabu restaurant chain in China plunged by 12 percent after reports of the rat emerged

Hotpot restaurant Xiabu Xiabu's stock hit its lowest level in nearly a year, after photos of the dead rat being fished out of the broth with a pair of chopsticks quickly spread online.

Kankan News quoted her husband as saying restaurant staff had told him: "If you are anxious about the baby, then we'll give you 20,000 yuan (NZ$4444) to abort it".

The boiled rodent was found at a Xiabu Xiabu location in Weifang, Shandong province on September 6th.

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.

But her husband, identified as Mr Ma, insisted she have a medical check-up first, Kankan News reported, according to the South China Morning Post.

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Health officials investigated the restaurant, but found no traces of rats. A local newspaper reported the incident on Friday and video footage of the customer picking the rat out with chopsticks circulated on Chinese social media all weekend. "I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again", said a Weibo user.

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

A rat was discovered in a hotpot restaurant in eastern China. "Is a life worth only 20,000 yuan?" one asked. However, the eatery was shut down temporarily for other violations, including pooled water in the food processing areas and using produce suppliers without full qualifications.

The restaurant initially put out a statement on Saturday saying that it had "ruled out" the possibility that a lack of hygiene had caused the rat to end up in the hotpot, but later deleted it.

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. Ms Gao said the chain had always taken great care over the quality and safety of its food.

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