One of the instant, self-heating hotpots from Zihaiguo. Photo:

A father from Anhui province in eastern China filed a complaint and then went public after asking for compensation from a food manufacturer, whose instant hotpot product allegedly gave his 12-year-old son diarrhea and nausea.

The company, however, only offered to send him 10 replacement packs of the product.

On July 22, the man contacted the Paper’s Complaint platform and told of his experience with the consumer service department of Zihaiguo – a famous Chongqing-based manufacturer which makes instant, self-heating hotpots – after his son allegedly became ill from eating their instant clay-pot rice.

The father also claimed that while his son was eating the clay-pot rice with mushroom and beef meal he was almost injured by a foreign object – an one-inch long piece of bamboo skewer. Soon after the boy finished eating the meal, his father said he had diarrhea and was vomiting.

The father wrote to the Zihaiguo’s customer service, which promised to send him 10 packs of the same product as compensation, but refused to pay more than 1,000 yuan in medical fees. The father claimed the medical fees were much higher, but failed to show all the bills.

Zihaiguo’s consumer service department replied to the Paper, saying the company had immediately conducted an inspection at the plant and could not find any abnormalities or foreign objects. By July 11, they arranged for a delivery of 10 instant, self-heating hot-pots to the man’s home.

The father admitted he had been notified of the delivery, but refused to sign for it or take it as compensation due to safety concerns. He insisted he only wanted financial compensation to cover his son’s medical bills.

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