- Chichester College has been serving halal to students without telling them
- Has been using halal chicken and lamb because it is cheaper than alternative
- One diner said: ‘It’s disturbing that food establishments are not informing us’
- College said: ‘There has never been any intention to avoid telling customers’
Outrage has erupted at a popular college after it emerged halal meat is regularly being served to students without them knowing because it is ‘cheaper’.
Since the summer, Chichester College, in West Sussex, has been dishing up halal chicken and lamb to unsuspecting diners at their main refectory.
The move came after a sudden rise in the number of Middle Eastern students at the college, which has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and takes pupils aged between 16 and 19.
One outraged diner, who didn’t want to be named, said: ‘I feel very strongly about food labelling and the consumer should know what they are eating.
‘Personally, I’m against halal slaughter because it’s not only cruel but it spoils the quality of the meat.
‘During the animal’s struggle toxins are released, spoiling the meat.
‘I feel that it’s a personal choice of an individual whether or not they choose to eat halal.
‘It’s disturbing that food establishments are not informing their customers of the meat they are serving.’
Halal meat comes from the traditional Muslim method of slaughtering but is controversial because animals are killed by having their throats cut then having their blood drained.
Aramark, the contractors which run the canteen, are under no legal obligation to inform the customers whether the meat is halal or not.
A statement from the college said: ‘The decision to purchase this is because the aim is always to provide good quality food at as reasonable a price as possible.
The findings were unearthed through a Freedom of Information request which was sent to 126 establishments.
However, just 25 responded – meaning the problem could be more widespread than currently thought.
In May, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg demanded better labelling using a designated ‘halal’ logo.
He said that while he personally had ‘no problem’ eating halal meat, produce should be clearly labelled because ‘consumers want to know more about how the food arrived on their plate.’
HOW DOES HALAL MEAT DIFFER?
Halal slaughtering involves cutting through the large arteries in the neck with one swipe of a blade, while a Muslim butcher recites a religious verse.
All blood is then drained away since the consumption of blood is forbidden under Islamic law.
Under Islamic law, an animal must be slaughtered by having its throat cut while it is conscious.
In comparison, the non-halal method involves taking animals to an abattoir where they are stunned before being killed.
It means the animal is unconscious when it is killed and has an instantaneous death, as opposed to enduring what animal rights activists claim is drawn-out pain and suffering.
Once the animal has been killed at the abattoir, it is removed and taken to be hung and butchered.
‘At the moment, halal meat prices have come down but regular meat prices have risen.
‘There has never been any intention to avoid telling customers when meat is halal and customers who have asked have been informed of this.’
It comes amid an ongoing row about halal meat and the way it is packaged and presented to customers.
Supermarkets and restaurant chains face being forced to label food containing the meat after it was revealed how millions of customers are being left in the dark about what they are eating.
Leading supermarkets, popular restaurant chains and dozens of academic premises have been switching to halal meat because it is more cost-effective but, it has been revealed, have not been informing customers.
At least ten top higher education establishments – including Oxford University and the University of Manchester – have been secretly serving up meat from potentially unstunned animals.
In Manchester, 85 per cent of all meat served is unlabelled halal meal, while all the chicken served at Sheffield and Exeter – which is halal – is not marked as so.
Cardiff and Lincoln were also found to be among the universities serving significant quantities of the meat, without telling consumers.
Originally published on www.dailymail.co.uk