Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Sickening discovery in meal costs restaurant chain millions

Sickening discovery in meal costs restaurant chain millions

Customers dip pieces of raw meat and vegetables into a big Value-Added Tax of simmering broth until everything cooks and bubbles to the surface.

A popular hot pot restaurant chain has seen its stock price plummet after the discovery last week of a rat at the bottom of one pot of bubbling broth.

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For one Chinese restaurant chain, however, an item found by a customer at one of its outlets has proved to be particularly costly: a rat.

A video of a rat found in a hotpot at a Chinese restaurant angered the nation.

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On 11 September, the company's share price hit its lowest level since October previous year. Shares in the company fell by nearly 12.5 per cent, wiping about $264 million off its market value, The New York Times reported. The company's shares recovered somewhat on Wednesday, gaining around three per cent. It's a fun, sociable meal popular across China - a country with much regional variation in cuisine - and chains are cropping up alongside mom-and-pop stalls. Traditionally eaten as a family meal in winter, hotpot is a national favourite, and chains selling it are growing in popularity.

In a statement released to South China Morning Post Saturday night, Xiabu Xiabu said it had always placed great emphasis on food security and would make any necessary improvements.

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After an investigation of the restaurant, there was no evidence found that would suggest any trace of rats in the facility.

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.

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The branch has since been ordered to suspend operations while authorities have also stated that it faces charges relating to stagnant water and purchasing food from unlicensed suppliers.

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