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worldwide halal food
The High Street restaurant chain says it serves only ritually-slaughtered chicken on its menu, provoking anger among campaigners
Pizza Express is serving ritually-slaughtered halal chicken in every dish on its menu that uses the meat, it has emerged.
But customers are only told that the chicken they are eating is killed in line with strict Islamic law if they ask staff, as it is not stated on menus.
Under Islamic law, chicken can only be eaten if the bird’s throat has been slit while it is still alive. A Koranic verse is also recited during the ritual.
Some non-Muslims object to halal because they claim the method of slaughter can cause unnecessary suffering.
The firm, which has 434 restaurants across the UK, states on its website: “All our chicken is halal approved but it is important to note that all birds are stunned before being slaughtered.
“Our chicken supplier is accredited by the British Retail Consortium. This means it meets the global standard for food safety and legality.”
Popular meals such as Pollo Ad Astra pizza, Pollo Pesto and the salads Chicken Caesar and Pollo Pancetta are all made with halal chicken.
A spokesman said: “At PizzaExpress the quality and integrity of our ingredients remain our number one priority, and we have always been happy to provide information on our ingredients to our guests.
“It is no secret that all the chicken used in our dishes is halal slaughtered. Our teams in restaurants have and always will provide this information, and in addition it is available on the customer service section of our website.
“We’re committed to high animal welfare standards and as such the birds are stunned before slaughter.
“The quality, safety and integrity of our products is paramount and our chicken supplier is accredited by the British Retail Consortium. This means it meets the global standard for food safety. None of our other meats are halal.”
The revelation has provoked anger among campaigners. Stephen Evans, of the National Secular Society, told The Sun: “Unsuspecting members of the public are routinely being duped into buying meat from religious slaughter methods.
“Meat should be properly labelled, enabling consumers to make an informed choice about the food they’re buying.”
The halal meat market in the UK is worth around £2.6billion a year and it is expected to grow dramatically, with Britain’s Muslim population of 2.7 million predicted to double by 2030, according to the Pew Research Centre.
Meat inspector Richard North said chains such as Pizza Express served halal chicken to save money.
He added: “Keeping halal and non-halal meat is expensive and creates the risk of non-halal being fed to Muslims, which shops and restaurants know will cause uproar. Maybe they think non-Muslims are less likely to complain.”
Last week it was revealed that Subway has removed ham and bacon from almost 200 fast food outlets and switched to halal meat alternatives in an attempt to please its Muslim customers.
Turkey “ham” and turkey rashers will be used instead in 185 of its stores, where all the meat will now be prepared according to halal rules.
The chain, which has around 1,500 outlets across the UK, explained its decision by saying it had to balance animal welfare concerns with “the views of religious communities”.
Traditional halal slaughter has animals having their throats slit before bleeding to death.
In Arabic the word halal means “permitted” or “lawful” and covers anything that is allowed or lawful according to the Koran.
It is often used to indicate food – particularly meat – that has been prepared in accordance with Muslim principles and techniques.
In Britain, killing an animal without prior stunning is illegal but the law gives special exemption to Muslim and Jewish meat producers on religious grounds.
In the UK there are thought to be around 12 abattoirs dedicated to unstunned slaughter, while hundreds practise stunned halal slaughter.
The RSPCA said: “We recognise religious practices should be respected but we also believe animals should be slaughtered in the most humane way possible.”
A spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said: “As long as animals are still killed for food, banning the most inhumane slaughter methods – in which animals have their throats cut while they’re still conscious – is a step in the right direction.
“No religion needs to slaughter animals for food, so the kindest thing that we can do for all animals is to leave them off our plates by adopting a vegan diet.”
Originally published on halalfocus.net
LAHORE – Buffalo meat plan to boost halal industry. Vice Chancellor of University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS), Prof Talat Naseer Pasha, has said that work on a buffalo meat plan is in progress under which country’s Halal meat will be introduced at high level to boost to meat farming.
Talking to APP here on Sunday, he said the growth rate of Halal meat export last year was 34 percent which could be raised to 55 percent which was the highest growth rate in any field of export.
He said that there was no any proper farming for meat in the country and animals were being exported after slaughtering without making pieces. Under the buffalo meat plan, quality Halal meat of calves would be presented at an exhibition to be held next month. All diplomats and businessmen will be invited to the exhibition planned by Punjab Halal Development Agency and UVAS, he added. The financial needs of the plan are being fulfilled by the USAID.
Last year, Pakistan exported red meat worth US$ 120 million which might be increased as the Halal export meat industry is sharply growing in the world, he added.
Responding to a question, he said that establishment of an authentication lab in the country was the need of the hour as worldwide demand for Halal products was sharply increasing.
He said the Halal industry was rapidly growing in the world as its trade volume was $.3 trillion and its 80 percent share was with non-Muslim states.
There is great potential in Pakistan to a take sizeable share in the trade, he added.
He said that setting up of Halal Regulatory Authority which was under consideration by the ministry concerned would give our Halal products an important marketing feature.
Prof. Pasha said that Middle East countries and Iran were big importers of Halal meat and Pakistan being a Muslim country in the region was in a position to export Halal meat to them at low costs as compared to European countries.
He said that UVAS was providing certification facilities thorough its international standard lab which had been accreditation by WHO.
In a bid to fight against economic crisis, producers in the Balkans turned towards halal food targeting both Western and Muslim countries markets, as demand for such products is constantly growing.
“Halal market represents more than one billion people across the globe. It is a young market with an important purchasing power and whose demand grows between 10 and 20 percent yearly,” said Amel Kovacevic, one of the organisers of a halal food fair in Sarajevo.
The three-day fair, that opened on Wednesday, is the first of its kind in the Balkans and it hosted some 30 producers from the region.
They came with their meat products, cheese, sweets, pastry, oils and halal cosmetics. The Balkans region is well located in the Mediterranean basin which enables it to target both Western and Muslim countries market, Kovacevic said.
“In this economic and financial crisis that puts into question the existence of many companies one has to profit from the fact that we are in the very middle, between the East and the West.We have clean land and air and unexpensive labour force. It is a chance for economic development of this region,” he concluded.
In 2009 global halal food market was estimated at some $635 billion (490 billion euros) according to the “World Halal Forum.”
“Halal should not been seen as something that will immediately accelerate production and make profit grow in a day,” Asim Bajraktarevic, in charge of production in a processed meats factory told AFP. “It is the way to improve the quality of products and create conditions for growth once we enter foreign markets,” the young man added.
The Brajlovic factory, near Sarajevo, with a capacity of some 15 tons of products daily, obtained its halal certification three months ago. It is among some 150 food producers in the Balkans region that decided to respect same production norms for more than 2,000 products.
The number of both companies that obtain halal certifications in the Balkans and their products grow between 30 and 40 percent yearly while their turnover is currently estimated at some 550 million euros ($708 million), Amir Sakic, head of an agency for halal certification in Sarajevo, said.
Halal, an Arab word meaning “lawful,” refers to all things and actions permitted by Koran to practising Muslims, notably to a ritual to slaughter an animal, only a herbivore, that has to be conscious when slaughtered and its body should by drained of blood.
Also at the time of slaughter the phrase “Bismallah” or in the “name of God (Allah)” should be pronounced by a practising Muslim, Sakic explained. “For me it is very important to have a possibility to buy products with halal certifications since I respect recommendations of the Prophet Mohammed that ban pork and its by-products,” assured Mirza Suvalija, a pensioner wearing the Islamic veil, who visited the fair.
Sakic’s agency, that is referential in the region, was founded in 2006 with help of local Islamic community in the country where Muslims are majority while the others are Orthodox and Catholic Christians. Muslims make up some 40 percent of Bosnia’s population of some 3.8 million, but most of them are not looking for halal-labelled products. Also, purchasing power is rather low and regional producers focus their hopes elsewhere.
A large number of companies that demanded to be given halal certifications are from Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, neighbouring countries where Catholic and Orthodox Christians are majority. “We export our products to some twenty countries. This year we obtained halal certification and it helped us a lot to increase our sales, notably in Scandinavian countries,” said Kalin Babusku, an official of the Macedonian factory “Mama’s.”
The factory produces jams and “ajvar,” a kind of seasoning based on pepper, egg-plant and garlic, a product very popular throughout the Balkans. “Before obtaining the certification we were exporting to Sweden a truck of products every three months. Now we export a truck monthly,” said Babusku who was presenting “Mama’s” products at the Sarajevo fair.
Originally published on http://halalfocus.net
Halal Tourism Guide
As Muslim travelers increasingly change their tourism preferences from traditional trips to Macca to beach holidays, a number of countries are adapting their tourism offers to the Islamic culture and beliefs. Last Friday New Zealand Launches A Halal Tourism Guide focusing on meeting the needs of Halal travelers.
New Zealand Tourism and Christchurch International Airport have launched a new culinary tourism guide focusing on meeting the needs of Halal travelers. Wanting to capitalize on the country’s geographic position – close to some of the world’s largest Muslim populations like Indonesia and Malaysia, the new guide aims to attract one of the world’s fastest growing tourism markets.
The guide provides general tourism information as well as a list of Halal classified restaurants and cafes including Halal-certified and vegetarian dishes or vegan cuisine. The new guide will be distributed among travel agents and their customers as well as New Zealand embassies offshore.
In recent years, Muslim tourism in New Zealand has been growing steadily. Last August alone, the number of Muslim visitors to the country was up by 141 percent, compared to the same month last year. According to Tourism New Zealand, Muslim tourists’ expenditure is expected to rise to more than 13 percent of the entire global tourism expenditure by 2020.
As part of the program, the agency is offering a series of workshops for the tourism industry, with the aim of providing information on how to meet needs and expectations of the Halal market.
Halal tourism is a new product in the tourism market, designed to meet the needs and beliefs of Islamic culture. Some hotels like Club Familia, have been adapting their practices to suit Islamic customs, especially in countries such as Turkey. These include Halal food, separate swimming pools for men and women, no alcoholic drinks and, women-only beach areas with Islamic swimming etiquette. Some hotels also include prayer facilities.
This year, Australia’s Queensland office of tourism advertised the Gold Coast as a place to spend Ramadan, with the phrase “Why not try Gold Coast for a cooler Ramadan this year?”
Originally published on www.muslimvillage.com
Halal Food Explosion.Italy is known all over the world for its fine cuisine, which is studied, admired and imitated. So when dozens of international state representatives gathered in Rome last week, it was quite naturally to talk about food and also Islamic law.
At the World Halal Food Council, leaders from 57 states of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) met in Italy for the first time, and pronounced plans to make the country a hub for Shariah-compliant food production in the region. Italy is the latest non-Muslim majority country to notice the potential of a market that’s growing more than 15 percent every year so we can say a Halal Food Explosion is on the way.
“We are willing to invest in Italy, which we want to see become the hub of the halal market in the Mediterranean,” Saudi Sheik Fahah Alared, a member of the Committee for Islamization of Banks, said in a statement.
“Malaysia, the largest halal market in the world, will make its experience available to Italy, which will become the leading halal hub in Europe,” he added.
To be classified as halal, food products must conform to standards of Islamic law, or Shariah, a concept similar to the Jewish dietary law of kosher. Halal must not contain any pork or alcohol products, and all livestock must be slaughtered in a specific way that involves a quick cut of the throat while the animal is alive, meant to be a quick and humane method.
Shariah rules can also be applied to other products such as clothing, medicine and cosmetics.
The industry is now worth billions worldwide and is growing fast.
A few hundred Italian companies are already halal certified. If the country is to become such a center, expansion will be done through Islamic finance, an industry worth $1.7 trillion last year and growing at more than 17 percent annually, according to a report from Ernst & Young.
The world’s Muslim population is estimated to be around 1.6 billion, with a majority observing the rules of halal. Though Islamic countries are still top producers, non-Muslim states are getting in on the opportunity. Brazil for instance, is the world’s second largest exporter of meat to Muslim countries, topped only by the United States.
“Food business is big business,” Mark Napier, director of an annual food trade show based in Dubai, told the Associated Press last month.
“Producers are increasingly aware of the need for halal standards and certification and bringing that to the fore of their export promotions,” he said.
Originally published in http://www.ibtimes.com