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Hotpot restaurants fall victim to coronavirus fears in Hong Kong February 13,2020   |  Source: CNA

Hotpot has become the latest casualty of the coronavirus outbreak after 10 members of a family in Hong Kong became infected after sharing the dish, a much-loved favourite during winter.

A hotpot - also known as a steamboat - is a bubbling cauldron of stock shared communally, to which diners add ingredients like meat, seafood and vegetables.

But health experts have sounded warnings after a cluster of coronavirus cases were discovered in one Hong Kong family who all shared a hotpot with a carrier from mainland China over the Chinese New Year holiday.

As the 10th positive case was confirmed within the family on Monday, stocks for large hotpot companies with restaurants in Hong Kong and mainland China plunged.

Xiabuxiabu closed down 7.1 per cent, Haidilao ended 4.8 per cent lower while Yihai International, which makes seasonings and sauces for hot pot, dropped 2.7 per cent.

In Hong Kong, major restaurant chains including Fairwood, Cafe de Coral, Yoshinoya and Maxim's announced they were temporarily pulling hotpot from their menus.

Maxim's also confirmed that two of the infected family members from the hotpot cluster worked in two of their branches, which would be closed for disinfecting.

Haidilao, China's largest hotpot chain, has already closed all its branches

 

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