Pregnant woman finds dead rat in soup, restaurant offers her $3,000 to abort pregnancy
A pregnant woman in China was horrified to find a dead rat in her hot pot soup at a franchise of the widely popular hotpot restaurant chain Xiabu Xiabu
A franchise of the widely popular hotpot restaurant chain Xiabu Xiabu has been suspended by law enforcement authorities in Weifang, Shandong province, after a series of food safety scandals in the People's Republic of China.
According to a man named Ma, who is a resident of Weifang, he had taken his family out to dinner Thursday night at the restaurant when his pregnant wife found a dead rat in the soup after having a few morsels.
“If you are worried about the baby, then we’ll give you 20,000 yuan (US$3,000) to abort it," the restaurant staff shockingly told Ma, according to Shanghai-based Kankan News.
That said, the branch offered Ma 5,000 yuan as compensation for the mishap, which he was ready to negotiate after his wife successfully completed a hospital check-up later in the day.
On Friday, the Market Supervision Bureau of Kuiwen district, Weifang, received a complaint about a rat in the hot pot soup, according to a post on its official WeChat account on Sunday.
Officials conducted an immediate inspection of the restaurant after the incident. While they did not find any traces of rats, they said there was some stagnant water accumulated in the food processing areas and that some of the restaurant's vegetable suppliers did not have the necessary qualifications.
On Saturday night, Xiabu Xiabu released a statement after the bureau temporarily shut down the outlet in order to give them time to improve its procedures. The company asserted that they would dedicatedly make necessary improvements and that they have always made food security a top priority.
Xiabu Xiabu was listed on the Hong Kong market in 2014 and has a whopping 759 outlets across China. The chain opened its first restaurant in 1998.
Authorities and hotpot chains in China have taken drastic measures over the past few months after a number of cases brought forth issues of food safety and hygiene in restaurants.
Back in May, Xiaolongkan, another popular hotpot chain in China, came under fire after they were found to be reusing cooking oil as well as leftover food from tables. They had to shut down three restaurants after the negative media attention that followed the exposé.
Similarly, the Haidilao chain had to shut down two of its Beijing restaurants after a media exposure related to rats and rotten food. Following the furor last year, they offered a live-stream video feed from their kitchens for transparency towards customers who wished to keep an eye on how their food was being prepared, reported the South China Morning Post.