Sickening discovery in meal costs restaurant chain millions

The rat was found at the hot pot restaurant chain Xiabu Xiabu in Weifeng China

A popular hot pot restaurant chain has seen its stock price plummet after the discovery last week of a rat at the bottom of one pot of bubbling broth.

News reported that the incident that happened last Thursday prompted the shut down of the restaurant.

The outlet in Shandong province has now been temporarily suspended.

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

Mr Ma said he was told "if you are anxious about the baby, then we'll give you 20,000 yuan [$4000] to abort it".

Mr Ma also alleged that one of the staff had suggested his wife get an abortion if she was anxious about the baby's health, and offered him 20,000 yuan for the procedure.

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

The outlet initially offered her compensation of 5,000 yuan ($729). Others were upset about the staff offering money for an abortion.

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.

After the incident, Xiabu Xiabu's market value fell by 11 per cent(S$291 million) on Tuesday (Sept 11).

Though hotpot has gained in popularity in recent years, customers across China have complained about questionable hygiene standards at hotpot chains, particularly over restaurants reusing hotpot broth with new customers. In a statement published on Sunday on the Chinese messaging platform WeChat, the bureau said that while it found no traces of rats, the restaurant had committed violations related to stagnant water and buying food from unlicensed suppliers. According to Thrillist, the ingredients commonly include fresh meats, tofu, various vegetables, and noodles.

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