Hot Pot Soup Explodes After A Dumb Customer Dropped a Lighter In It

A waitress working for a popular Chinese hot pot chain gets blasted by scalding hot soup after trying to fish out a customer’s lighter. We hope she’s okay.
May 22, 2019, 10:33am
Screenshots via YouTube

Haidilao, a famous hot pot chain in China, is investigating an incident last week where hot soup exploded on a waitress’ face while she was helping a customer who allegedly dropped a lighter in the soup. According to a news report, the incident happened in a branch in Kunming City, Yunnan last May 15.

Surveillance footage shows a female waitress using two ladles to reportedly fish out a lighter that was dropped in the soup while two customers looked on. Several moments later, the soup exploded and shot upwards, covering the waitress in hot soup all over her face and arms. One customer was also covered by the soup.


The waitress and one of the customers were immediately taken to the hospital and treated.

In the same news report, a similar case was reported on February 22, wherein an explosion occurred after a man reportedly threw a lighter into a hot pot in a restaurant in Chongqing.

While we don’t know why lighters are being dropped in hot pots, a report by Shangaiist points out that the hot pot chain is popular with fraudsters. In the past, they’ve pretended to find sanitary pads or dead rodents in the soup.

Unfortunately, these jokes might be somewhat effective. A 2016 report by the Pew Research Center shared that people in China don’t have high food expectations for food produced in China. In 2017, Haidilao itself earned praise for admitting that one of their kitchens was infested with rats.