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

The rat was found in hot pot broth at a Xiabu Xiabu restaurant in the city of Weifang. Source SCMP

The rat was found in hot pot broth. Source SCMPMore

The restaurant allegedly offered them 5,000 yuan ($728) in compensation for this incident.

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

Xiabu Xiabu's market value dropped to its lowest level in nearly a year as pictures of the dead rat being fished out of a broth were circulated on social media.

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 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 staff at the restaurant allegedly offered the couple 20,000 yuan, which is $3,000 USA dollars, for them to have an abortion if they were concerned for the child's health. "I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again".

"I feel like vomiting", wrote one person.

By Sept. 11, the company's share price hit the lowest level since October of past year. Video circulated widely on social media in China, to the shock and disgust of viewers, shows the man in the eastern city of Weifang fishing the boiled rodent out of the murky broth with chopsticks. Xiabu Xiabu and one of its rivals, Haidilao, have reported surging sales and an expanding network of restaurants.

Xiabu Xiabu initially released a statement Saturday night saying that it had "ruled out the possibility that an unhygienic environment has caused the rat to appear", but that statement was later deleted.

The rat appeared when hotpot has been enjoying something of a moment in China. Within, the chain claimed that food security is a high priority for them and that they would also work with officials to make any necessary improvements.

Hotpots are prepared with a simmering pot of soup stock at the dining table and contain a variety of east Asian foodstuffs.

As word of the shocking find made it to major global news sites, the scandal start impacting the restaurant chain's bottom line.

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