Restaurant in China plummets $190m in value after pregnant woman finds rat in her soup

Restaurant in China plummets $190m in value after pregnant woman finds rat in her soup

If you're going out for a big meal, you know that diving right into your main course is a great way to signal to the rest of the table that you're a huge amateur a. The best way to eat a ton of food in one gloroious is to start with something small to get your digestive system warmed up before tucking into the good stuff, and that's where soup comes in.

People are often divided on soup as a starter, but I think that in the right situation - and with the right soup - you can take the first tentative steps toward getting forklifted out of your favourite restaurant, with a hefty bill and a hell of a story to tell afterward.

Chicken, tomato or mushroom soup, whatever tickles your fancy; but a restaurant in China gave one of its customers an unsavory surprise in their soup, and have lost a lot of money as a consequence. Hotpot restaurant Xiabu Xiabu's stock took a real beating after a pregnant woman posted on social media fishing a dead rat out of one of their soups.

The pregnant woman in question - who has so far wished to remain unnamed - was out with her family for dinner in Weifang city in the Shandong province of China on September 6, and had reportedly taken a few bites of the dish before discovering the dead rat floating around in there. In response to the  restaurant offered compensation of 5,000 yuan (£559, $729) for the incident, but the woman's husband - who wished to be identified as Mr Ma - declined the offer.

He spoke to local news outlet Kankan News about the affair, saying that he wanted to give his wife a full checkup before proceeding with taking compensation. He also said that one of the members suggested his wife get an abortion, if she was worried about the baby's health, and offered him 20,000 yuan to cover the procedure costs.

On the Chinese social media site Weibo, photos of the boiled rat quickly spread, and so too did the outrage. "I feel like vomiting. I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again," said one user, while another commented: "Xiabu Xiabu has always been one of my favourite restaurants, I thought they were quite clean as well... I can't believe this."

Some commenters extended their sympathies for the pregnant woman who'd inadvertently eaten rat, asking: "If something happens to her baby how are they going to compensate her? Is a life worth only 20,000 yuan?" Xiabu Xiabu put out a statement saying that they'd "ruled out" the possibility that the rat was down to a lack of hygiene in their restaurant, but soon deleted it.

In the wake of the incident, Xiabu Xiabu have closed down the outlet in question - at least temporarily - while their stock price has plummeted to its lowest level in almost a year, losing the company around $190m.