A popular restaurant chain in China has lost almost $ 190 million of its market value, after a pregnant woman found a dead rat in her soup.
Shares of Xiabu Xiabu's – a chain of pan-fried or hot-dog restaurants – fell to their lowest level in nearly a year, after pictures of the dead rat being pulled out of the broth with a chopstick were circulated online.
The restaurant branch in Shandong province was temporarily suspended.
The local offered the client about US $ 729 in compensation, according to reports.
According to the local Kankan News, which spoke with the woman's husband, the offer was rejected because he wanted his wife to undergo a complete medical review before deciding the amount of compensation.
The pregnant woman, who went out to eat hotpot with her family, on September 6, found the dead animal inside her plate after having tasted a few bites.
Her husband told the Kankan News that one of the restaurant's employees suggested that his wife have an abortion if she was worried about the baby's health and offered 20,000 yuan (about US $ 3,000) for the operation.
Reaction in networks
The photos of the boiled rat spread quickly through the Chinese social network Weibo, where users reacted with indignation and disgust.
"It makes you want to throw up, I will never eat hotpot out again," one user wrote.
"Xiabu Xiabu has always been one of my favorite restaurants, I thought they were also clean … I can not believe it!" Commented another person.
"If something happens to your baby, will they compensate? Is a life worth only 20,000 yuan?" Asked another.
Pan food, or "hotpot", is a very popular dish in China and parts of Asia
At first, the restaurant issued a statement on Saturday saying it had "ruled out" the possibility that the lack of hygiene was the cause for the rat to end up in the pan, but then it was removed.
Authorities in the city of Weifang, where the incident occurred, said they would conduct an investigation at the Xiabu Xiabu restaurant.
The hotpot is a common dish in China and other parts of Asia.
It is a pot of boiling broth, which is added different vegetables and raw meats to be cooked. It is also known as Chinese fondue.
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