Leading Islamic scholars have accused fast food chain KFC of mislabelling its chicken as halal.
At a recent conference in the Hijaz Centre, in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, around 40 scholars agreed KFC was mislabelling its machine-slaughtered chicken as halal and said it should stop selling it immediately.
Machine slaughtering is not permitted under Islamic law. Instead animals should be slaughtered under strict religious rituals by a man with a knife, the scholars explained.
Naved Syed, a halal processor, said halal rituals were clearly defined under Food Standards Agency guidelines and accused the organisation of failing to enforce their own guidance.
“We have worked closely with the Halal Food Authority for our halal products and have complete confidence in its credentials.”
“The FSA don’t enforce the guidance they’ve set. The British government and the FSA are saying this is what you have to do, but KFC are not doing it. KFC are saying they are bigger than the government and they’re not,” Mr Syed told Meat Info UK.
But the Halal Food Authority (HFA), which monitors halal standards, has insisted that machine slaughter is acceptable.
“It does not say in the original scriptures that machines cannot be used so it’s an improvement of the original,” said HFA president Khawaya Mahsood.
A KFC spokesman said they didn’t see any reason to change its halal slaughter operations.
“We have worked closely with the HFA for our halal products and have complete confidence in its credentials,” they added.