Rat Wipes $190M Off Restaurant Chain's Value

Rat Wipes $190M Off Restaurant Chain's Value

"If you are anxious about the baby, then we'll give you 20,000 yuan ($3,000) to abort it", Mr Ma says the staff told him.

Photos and video of a dead rat found at a branch of Xiabu Xiabu - boiled, hairless with legs outstretched - sandwiched between a pair of chopsticks after being fished out of a Value-Added Tax of broth have since circulated on Chinese social media.

The woman and her husband anxious the rat brew would affect their baby, since the mother had already taken a couple gulps of the soup when she made the horrifying discovery at Xiabu Xiabu on September 6.

The outlet in Shandong province has now been temporarily suspended. He alleged that one staff member had offered 20,000 yuan ($2,900) for an abortion if she was concerned about the baby's health.

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

Photos of the incident made their way online and netizens couldn't be more disgusted by what they saw. "I feel like vomiting. 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 report from the South China Morning News said staff offered the pair compensation.

A statement was put out by Xiabu Xiabu concerning the incident. Xiabu Xiabu had released a statement which declared that it was "impossible" that a lack of hygiene at the restaurant was to blame for the rat's appearance, but that statement was deleted a short time later. The chain's market value plummeted to its lowest point in the past year, as they have reportedly lost $190 million over the affair.

The chain, which is known for its "hot pot" - a dish which involves diners cooking their own vegetables and other ingredients in a large bowl of simmering broth - took a hit after the footage emerged last week.