Once again, it is with a heavy heart, we have been informed by a school that children who follow the faith of Islam have been fed meat and chicken as part of their school meal on a false pretence, that did not meet their expectations of being Halal compliant. These children were simply provided food and consumed it, not knowing that this did not meet their religious expectations.
We thought that we had passed the saga of 2013 where thousands of children across the country were fed burgers that contained 50% pork, which completely goes against the ethos of those people who follow a halal diet. Unfortunately, this is not the case and in 2023, these incidents still exist.
For over two decades, HMC has been at the forefront in educating on multiple issues that exist within the supply chain of halal food, and has developed a robust rigorous inspection and monitoring system which instils safety and preventative measures to give confidence to the end consumer.
Moulana Yunus, Chair of HMC, said; “These issues that we are witnessing are due to the lack of control within catering kitchens, along with the lack of training for those that procure/produce Halal meals for the Muslim children. For over a decade, HMC has implemented a scheme to certify school kitchens to a robust standard, in a way that the kitchen staff can serve a Halal school meal option with confidence.”
HMC has been contacted by many parents from the school to carry out an independent investigation into this matter. However it is not within HMC’s remit to do so, as we have no jurisdiction within the school. We do however invite the schools leadership to join the HMC’s certification scheme should they choose to do so, so that they can provide confidence to fellow students attending their Institute.
We once again advise the entire community that by simply looking at a Halal sign or a piece of paper that has Halal demarcation does not qualify the product in question as being Halal. There are so many complexities that the layman needs to navigate through, which is a difficult task to say the least. It is for this very purpose why HMC was set up, to give consumer confidence throughout the entire value chain via rigorous monitoring and inspection, through which HMC has implemented a real time certification model.
HMC is the UK’s largest Halal certifying body, employing over 220 people. Last month alone, HMC staff spent 12,000 hours to ensure your food is genuinely Halal with 13,000 visits made to outlets nationwide. It is a registered charity and also a not for profit organisation. It is overseen by a voluntary body, the National Executive Committee that consists of mainly scholars who are the Trustees of the organisation. HMC has been set up to work in the favour of all Muslims and the consumer at large. HMC aims to regulate and at every point inspect Halal products from source to the consumer. HMC is committed to serving the Muslims and the wider community and it intends to provide peace of mind and security where required.