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  • Sep 20, 2014
  • Updated: 7:18pm
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FOOD

McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut say no to request to offer halal meat

McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut say no to imam's request to offer Islamic-certified meat, despite his claim it would be shrewd business

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 September, 2013, 7:33am
 

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24 Sep 2013
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Total number of votes recorded: 374

Hong Kong's three biggest fast-food chains have rejected a call by Hong Kong's chief imam to offer halal meat in their restaurants.

Mufti Muhammad Arshad contacted McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Pizza Hut to request that they use halal meat in some of their outlets. He said it would not only be good for Hong Kong's Muslims, but also a shrewd business move.

Halal is an Arabic word that means "permissible". Halal meat comes from an animal slaughtered according to Islamic law. That means Allah's (God's) name must be pronounced during slaughter, the instrument used must be very sharp to ensure humane slaughter (the animal must be slit at the throat), the animal must not be unconscious, and it must be hung upside down and allowed to bleed dry.

Eating blood is not halal. Pork is not halal, nor are certain cuts of meat, such as from an animal's hindquarters.

Arshad said he sent letters to the fast-food chains, but McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut all said that they had no plans to introduce halal meat in their outlets. But Arshad said it would be only a matter of time before they signed up, as McDonald's and KFC served halal food in other Asian markets, such as Singapore.

Halal certification of restaurants began in Singapore in the mid-1990s. Singaporean food blogger Daniel Ang says that the likes of Le Steak, a new halal steakhouse in the Jalan Kayu district, has been "packing the crowds in" at the weekends. In Hong Kong there are already halal outlets at Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park.

"It's disappointing that we could not convince the companies," Arshad said. "It doesn't have to be Hong Kong-wide. In the main areas, like Central, Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui, the New Territories and at the airport, it would be a great service. The companies have to realise there is a need for this and that it is good business for them."

Tourism sector lawmaker Paul Tse Wai-chun said he would welcome anything that would increase the diversity of Hong Kong and cater for people from different religious backgrounds. He said it would also be good for local businesses.

"The government has been trying to promote Islamic investment here, so the move would be beneficial to tourism in Hong Kong and our financial market," Tse said. "It's also a chance to attract tourists from Muslim countries to Hong Kong. We're showing that we are catering for them."

There are about 250,000 Muslims in Hong Kong, more than half of whom are Chinese. The rest are either locally born non-Chinese or are from Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Middle Eastern and African countries. In recent years, the biggest segment of Muslims in the territory have been Indonesians. Mostly female domestic workers, they account for almost half of Hong Kong's Muslim population - 120,000 people.

Arshad said that more than 50 restaurants served halal meat in Hong Kong. The meat is checked as being halal-certified in the country from which it is imported by Arshad and his staff.

"We double-check that a certified Muslim organisation has imported the meat and that the animal has been slaughtered according to Islamic rites," he said. "If we are satisfied that everything is in order, then we will issue a local halal certificate to let restaurants know that everything is fine."

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This article is now closed to comments

asmh
There is absolutely no need for halal meet in Hong Kong. If anyone wants halal meat they can jolly well leave Hong Kong to find it.
I think we should start lobbying for restaurants in, let's say, Saudi Arabia to serve pork along with their halal meat so that they can cater to those who eat pork. How about that?
Using a sharp knife to slaughter an animal does not make it humane, as quoted in this article - certainly not when they leave the animal conscious and suffering in pain and bleeding to death anyway. Seriously...
SMAA
maybe you can very well pack your bags and jolly well return to inglund with your bigoted opinions..
you can start lobbying in saudi arabia, but there are no pork eaters there.. so you would be pretty much an idiot to do that.. wouldnt you be ?
Halal is not about sharp knife.. try to educate yourself mister inglushmann before posting your bigoted comments..
witgryko
isn't this guy just talking up his certificate-issuing business ? or does he issue them for free ?
SMAA
No he isn't, the annual fee is peanuts,
hanspepsi
Would I be able to walk into a restaurant in lets say Saudi Arabia or UAE and ask for Non-halal meat? multiculturalism at its dumbest.
SMAA
i would suggest that you educate yourself in the difference between "halal" and "non-Halal" ?
hanspepsi
HK is a secular SAR, and they have laws protecting animal welfare. Hahal or Kosher slaughtering is a flagrant violation of animal welfare. I am not praising those restaurant's animal welfare practice but this seems like a good start.
Hey, there are more than 20 flights to singapore daily, one way ticket costs less than 1,500 HKD.
SMAA
i would suggest that you also educate yourself in what is "halal" and "kosher" you seems to be clueless.
andreaswagner
I can't see why we should let our food tastes and habits being dictated by ANY people who let their life be guided by some bronze age tribal creation myth. They can eat what they want, but why is it that religions always have to impose their views on other people, who want no part of it?
ncor
It's not Bronze Age...

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