Chinese diners find eight cockroaches in their hotpot

Woman thought the dark shells in her spicy broth were medicinal herbs … until she bit into one

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 June, 2018, 2:56pm
UPDATED : Friday, 08 June, 2018, 2:56pm

They might have been on the planet for 300 million years longer than humans. They might also have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

But when you sit down to eat a steaming bowl of hotpot, the last thing you want to find floating in your spicy soup is a cockroach, let alone eight of them.

Unfortunately for two women at a restaurant in Haikou, capital of southern China’s Hainan province, that was exactly what was on the menu earlier this week, according to a report by Huaxi City Daily.

The two friends, identified by their surnames Zhang and Zhao, were quoted as saying that it was only when one of them bit into one of the six-legged creepy-crawlies that they realised exactly what they were dining on.

“Zhao said she could feel the texture of the insect’s legs in her mouth,” Zhang said, adding that before the shocking realisation, they thought the dark shells in the hotpot were medicinal herbs.

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After spitting out the remains of the cockroach, the two women fished around in the bubbling bowl and were horrified to discover seven more, the report said.

When they complained to the owner of the restaurant, however, they were surprised by his response.

The man, surnamed Li, suggested that there might have been some foul play involved on the part of the two diners.

“We can’t ensure the kitchen is spotless, and we would acknowledge our mistake if they found one cockroach in the pot,” he was quoted as saying.

“But finding eight cockroaches after dining for an hour is unreasonable.”

Despite the apparent delay in reporting their discovery, Zhao denied she and her friend had interfered with the meal in any way, and said they were annoyed by the accusation.

“He was trying to say we brought the cockroaches in with us. We were really angry,” she said.

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Despite his initial protest, the report said Li later offered the two women a replacement meal and compensation.

Zhao, however, rejected the offer and made a formal complaint to the police and the local food safety authority.

An investigation is ongoing, the report said.