Published: Fri, September 14, 2018

Pregnant woman finds rat in hotpot, allegedly offered $4,000 to abort child

Pregnant woman finds rat in hotpot, allegedly offered $4,000 to abort child

The local market supervision authority has launched an investigation into the incident and the outlet where the rat was discovered has been shut down.

The well-known chain, Xiabu Xiabu, was closed for an investigation by health officials after the incident occurred and stock hit the lowest level in nearly a year after news spread, the BBC reports.

The restaurant allegedly later offered Ma 5,000 yuan ($728) in compensation for the incident - a price he was willing to negotiate after the hospital visit, he told the South China Morning Post.

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 woman's husband, named as Mr Ma, said restaurant staff had told him: "If you are anxious about the baby, then we'll give you 20,000 yuan to abort it", according to Shanghai-based Kankan News.

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.

A video of the boiled, gelatinous rodent being pulled out of the pot with its arms stretched out, circulated on Chinese social media site Weibo - and users were angry and disgusted. "I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again", said one user. "Is a life worth only 20,000 yuan?" one asked.

An inspection was immediately undertaken at the restaurant but no trace of rats were found.

Shares of Xiabu Xiabu in Hong Kong plunged 12 percent Monday and Tuesday causing the company's market value to plummet around £145 million.

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.

Xiabu Xiabu said in a statement on Sept 8 that it had "always placed great emphasis on food security and would make any necessary improvements".

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