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Demand for clearer packaging as millions eat Halal food without knowing
Thursday May 8, 2014 10:45 PM, Agencies

Demand grows in Britain for clearer and proper packaging of foods even as millions of people are eating halal food without knowing.

Halal Food UK

Faith leaders have called for clearer packaging after it emerged some meat is sold in the UK which could qualify as halal but is not labelled as such, BBC reported Thursday.

Islamic law states that the animal must be uninjured before slaughter but some authorities allow a form of stunning.

"Comprehensive labeling…. would offer all consumers genuine choice, whether they are motivated by animal welfare, religious observance, or even intolerance of anyone who looks or worships differently to them," Henry Grunwald, Chairman of Shechita U.K. and Dr Shuja Shafi, Deputy Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain said in a letter to the Daily Telegraph.

Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose and the Co-op said their New Zealand lamb is slaughtered to halal standards, while Pizza Express has already revealed their chicken is killed according to Islamic tradition.

All say animals are stunned before slaughter and the animals are killed in accordance with Halal principles so meat can be sold to both Muslim and non-Muslim countries.

Tesco, along with the Co-op, said all the animals were stunned before slaughter with the only difference being that halal meat was blessed as it was killed.

Tesco said that because it does not specify this is done "it would be misleading for all customers to label the meat as halal".

Waitrose said some of their lamb is slaughtered after a halal blessing, which "minimises food waste, keeps prices down for our customers and helps our farmers to be competitive".

A spokeswoman for Marks and Spencer confirmed all its New Zealand lamb is halal. It said the meat is not labelled as halal, but added that "very strict, animal welfare policies" are applied to all its products.

Morrisons meanwhile said a "small number of processed meat products may contain meat that is blessed but added that "it is always pre-stunned".

Hamza Khaleeq Elsingham, the UK's Minister of Food, reveals that eating Islamic food is good for you: "You will feel closer to Allah every day. Don't forget to eat up your greens also, of course you can still have your mushy peas and gravy."

Some English citizens are however having second thoughts about the Halal meat, Beresford Smith, an accountant from Cricklewood, and a devout Christian, told the Daily Mail: "I ate my cottage pie last night for dinner. In the morning, I noticed a large bushy beard had grown on my chin. I then had this irresistible urge to kneel on my carpet and pray to Allah. I also had this urge to get four more wives, my current wife Deirdre was not too happy about it, she's a vegan."

Last week, Subway was forced to remove pork and instead supply halal meat at its more than 200 outlets in UK after strong protest by Muslims.

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