While authentic Chinese cuisine can be an acquired taste for the Western palate, boiled rat is something you'd never want to see on the menu...or already on your plate.
A pregnant woman found a dead rodent in her hot pot after having a few bites at a popular Chinese restaurant chain in Beijing.
She and her husband were dining at Xiabu Xiabu on September 6 when she discovered the rat.
According to BBC, the restaurant staff offered to pay for her abortion if her body was contaminated from the tainted soup.
@itvnews @ply4hyre That's gross— Dave Smith (@Dave Smith)1536855486.0
@SputnikInt thats just for flavor— Viktor (@Viktor)1536633930.0
A video of the dead rat fished out of the soup with chopsticks was posted on the Chinese social media site Weibo, where it quickly went viral.
It made people sick to their stomachs.
Warning: this video shared by South China Morning Post on YouTube is not for the faint of heart.
"I feel like vomiting. I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again," said one Weibo user.
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."
@itvnews https://t.co/kugDa2CdfC— Simon Hewitt 🏴 🇬🇧 (@Simon Hewitt 🏴 🇬🇧)1536854566.0
@SputnikInt It is firm and freshly dead. Yuk.— Matilda (@Matilda)1536614533.0
How the rat managed to make its way into the boiling pot remains a mystery.
@SputnikInt Was it poached IN the soup? Or added after? How does a dead rat float in soup and not get noticed before customer finds it???— Matilda (@Matilda)1536614450.0
Others saw humor in the incident and joked that the boiled rat was a delicacy.
@SputnikInt Plot twist : the rat was a part of the soup— Haroune Bogdanoff🇩🇿 (@Haroune Bogdanoff🇩🇿)1536614126.0
@SputnikInt She's sure that's not according with the recipe?— SAM Volhov (@SAM Volhov)1536614284.0
The restaurant chain offered to pay the woman 5,000 yuan ($729), but her husband, identified as Mr. Ma, rejected the offer until his wife received a full physical examination to determine a proper settlement.
am pretty sure I have been in some hot pot restaurants in West China where this can be requested………….. https://t.co/EmRm8uMzzD— Alan McNally (@Alan McNally)1536852723.0
Ma claimed the staff told him, "If you are worried about the baby, then we'll give you 20,000 yuan ($3,000) to abort it."
@itvnews https://t.co/GPt1xaUXzu— Lee Chapple (@Lee Chapple)1536854302.0
Xiabu Xiabu's share price on September 11 took a plunge, losing $190 million in value. Given the angry reactions, it could take a while for them to recover.
A popular Chinese restaurant chain has lost around $ 190m (£145m) in market value after a pregnant woman found a de… https://t.co/nsU4LKsSec— NewsDayFeeds (@NewsDayFeeds)1536827794.0
But as of Wednesday, BBC reported that Xiabu Xiabu market shares are gradually going back up.
A Chinese restaurant stock plunged after a customer discovered a dead rat in his order of hot pot… https://t.co/pNcHEhL8Ou— Joe Weisenthal (@Joe Weisenthal)1536665059.0
@Independent That’s the Quality Control record of Chinese products in the market. Toxic.— Flying Fox (@Flying Fox)1536850831.0
@Max1023FM @DebsExtra @MarkOtabor That's the height of it! I mean it's utterly shameful... Restaurants should have… https://t.co/Srcy4Ncui4— TheOpeCareem™ (@TheOpeCareem™)1536818943.0
While health inspectors didn't find a rat infestation in the restaurant, the outlet was shut down for other violations.
According to NDTB, the location had been using "pooled water in the food processing areas and using produce suppliers without full qualifications."
There are 759 Xiabu Xiabu locations in China.
Hot pot is a popular Asian communal soup in which diners cook their meals together in a shared pot. Depending on the region, the broth and meats vary, but generally not to this extreme.