The Halal Monitoring Committee would like to make the public aware of the ongoing issues within the Halal industry. Over the past decade, there have been many incidents nationwide where meat and poultry has been mislabelled as “Halal” misleading Muslim consumers. The public are taking to social media to voice their concerns on the authenticity of genuine Halal food. Demand has increased for consumers wanting to know where their meat and poultry is coming from and insist on action being taken against vendors who are caught mislabelling “Halal”.
Despite preventative measures, some individuals succeed to producing food which is not correctly described and may be contaminated with pork derivatives.
Tests in species have increased in recent years due to the discovery of horsemeat and pork found in processed products. The following crimes have been reporting involving Halal meat:
Incident: “Birmingham wholesaler fined £35,000 for selling non-halal meat to Muslims”
Incident: “Halal butchers hit with £18,000 food fraud bill after bulking up ‘lamb’ mince”
Incident: “A Newry food company has been ordered to pay more than £70,000 costs for falsely labelling beef products and Halal meats”
Incident: “South African Muslims furious at ‘halal pork’ scandal”
Incident: “Horse and pork doner kebabs – not very Halal”
Incident: “Pork ‘halal meat’ scare: Meat pulled from schools’ menus”
Incident: “Pork found in Halal lamb burgers supplied to Leicester schools”
Incident: “Man sues takeaway for £77million after ‘finding pork on his halal pizza”
“Additionally, the following conclusions were found after a series of surveys were conducted regarding chicken labelled as Halal:
- There was widespread mislabelling of Halal chicken.
- The addition of water to ‘pump up’ chicken was a common practice. In some instances, over 50% of the chicken weight was added water.
- The water used in “pumping-up” the chicken was found to contain proteins to aid the retention of water in the carcasses, these proteins were of porcine and bovine origin. It is forbidden for Muslims to consume pork or its derivatives; in addition, the bovine protein may have been derived from animals slaughtered contrary to the Islamic slaughter requirements.
- Additives used in chicken were often not included on labels.” (Research Gate, 2017)
HMC aims to eradicate all such circumstances which can result in what was supposed to be Halal meat turning into dead, Haram meat by having HMC approved, trained inspectors who are educated in the relevant fields of Islamic Jurisprudence present at the time of the slaughtering, de-boning, packaging and processing of products. Monitors also visit all HMC certified outlets a minimum of 4 times a week and by using the serialised labels (attached to lamb, beef and poultry) can trace the origins of the products using the HMC app. HMC wishes to implement a robust set of protocols and regulations to ascertain a total doubt-free environment.
HMC cannot stop fraud from taking place but it can prevent it. HMC would like to ask the public to share this article with friends and family to make them aware of the fraud which is taking place in the food industry. In fact, the very reason HMC began was to tackle these issues. With the global Muslim population expected to grow by 73% to 2.8 billion, greater food traceability is critical now than ever before and so HMC encourages all suppliers, restaurants, takeaways and butchers to assess their supply chain by tracing the origins of the products which they sell.
Research Gate (2017). Halal Meat Fraud and Safety Issues in the UK: a Review in the Context of the European Union. [online] Basel: Springer International Publishing Switzerland, p.12. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Awal_Fuseini/publication/312955176_Halal_Meat_Fraud_and_Safety_Issues_in_the_UK_a_Review_in_the_Context_of_the_European_Union/links/5b23a305a6fdcc6974657073/Halal-Meat-Fraud-and-Safety-Issues-in-the-UK-a-Review-in-the-Context-of-the-European-Union.pdf?origin=publication_detail [Accessed 18 Jul. 2018].