A renowned Chinese restaurant chain has seen around $190m (£145m) wiped off its market value following a storm over a dead rat found in a customer’s meal.
The outlet in Shandong province, which has now been temporarily closed, is said to have offered the pregnant lady who ordered the meal 5,000 yuan (£559) as compensation, but her family declined it.
It is claimed the dead rat was discovered in her meal after she had already taken a few bites from the dish.
Photos of the boiled rat quickly spread on Chinese social media site Weibo, where users reacted with anger and disgust, according to the BBC.
Authorities in Weifang city, the restaurant branch where the rat was found, said they planned to conduct investigations into Xiabu Xiabu’s restaurant.
Hotpot is one of the chain’s most popular dishes. Hot soup is placed at a dining table and vegetables and raw meats are then added to the pot to cook.