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Friday, March 29, 2013

Halal Easter Eggs

If you look at your Cadbury chocolate bar wrapper, you will see that it is halal friendly and so are their Easter eggs. We are left wondering why because Islam is a minority religion in Australia.

We know that Muslims and Jews don't eat pork, but Islam has other rules about what not to eat and drink - they don't touch alcohol, eat the flesh of carnivores (animals who eat only animal flesh) or carrion (animals who eat the decaying flesh of dead animals.)

They also can't eat an animal that isn't killed in the correct way, so what is the correct way?

  • Allah's (God's) name must be pronounced during the slaughter
  • A sharp instrument must be used (knife) to slit the animal's throat 
  • The animal must not be unconscious
  • The animal must be hung upside down and allowed to bleed dry
  • These steps must be accomplished by a Muslim or the People of the Book (Christian or Jew).  Many Muslims find kosher meat acceptable      
  • The animal must have been fed a natural diet that did not contain any animal by-products.

There are 340 Australian companies who have paid to have the halal certification, including Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, Franklins, Kellog's MasterFoods and Nestle.  It is obviously very important because these companies are prepared to pay a fee to get it.

Cadbury could be accused of bias because they cater to the Islamic religion but not the Jewish faith.   They list 71 halal products, including Dairy Milk chocolate bars, Freddo frogs and Red Tulip chocolates, but they do not carry any kosher-certified products.

The Islamic Co-Ordination Council of Victoria states: "With five office staff, two external food technologists, four sharia advisers, and over 140 registered halal slaughtermen/inspectors, ICCV is the largest and the most respected halal certifier in Australia.  We are ready to serve any company in Australia that is interested in producing halal product (meat and processed food.)

So why should Australian companies bother to get the halal stamp of approval?  A chicken wholesaler went to the trouble of killing his chickens the correct halal way, but when he found out they were still not acceptable and he had to pay for certification, he was furious. Stubborn to the core, he held out for three years and lost $120,000 each year. He got the certification to save his business.

No pressure?  Not much!  Happy Easter.