As shoppers become more and more self aware about where their food and drink comes from, many restaurant chains have begun to diversify what they offer - including Halal meat.
Several takeaway chains and restaurants across the UK now serve Halal meat in at least some of their outlets, and have done so for some time.
What is Halal?
In Arabic, the word Halal means “permitted” or “lawful” and defines anything that is allowed or lawful according to the Qur’an. It is often used in the context of food – especially meat – to indicate that the food has been prepared in accordance with Muslim principles and techniques.
EU law requires animals for the food chain to be stunned (made unconscious) prior to killing, so that death should be painless, although there is an exception for religious slaughter.
However, many restaurants still require that Halal slaughter involves stunning first, and the majority of Halal slaughter in the UK involves stunning according to the RSPCA.
A report from the animal charity in 2012 states that 90% of sheep and 97% of cattle slaughtered using Halal methods in the UK were stunned first.
The restaurants serving Halal food
The cheeky chicken eatery serves Halal meat in 73 out of its 402 restaurants, almost one in four, and seven Nando’s in Yorkshire serve only Halal food, including two in Leeds.
The restaurants serving Halal food at some chains
Nando’s Chains in Yorkshire serving only Halal chicken:
* Leeds - The Light
* Leeds - Cardigan Fields
* Sheffield Valley Centertainment
* Bradford Centenary Square
* Bradford Leisure Exchance
What Nando’s says:
“We have 402 restaurants, 73 of which serve only Halal chicken and are signposted both in the restaurant and online. A small proportion of chicken sold in our other restaurants may also be Halal.
“This may happen on rare occasions if there are, for example, issues with supply. However, all of our chickens are packaged, labelled and distributed to their intended restaurant. We continue to look at ways to offer chicken dishes which are guaranteed to be non-Halal. “
Some Subway chains exclusively use Halal meat. The ones which do contain labeling across the store to show that they are Halal. A total of 202 stores in the UK serve Halal meat, out of 2,000 - meaning about 1 in 10 are affected.
What Subway says
“Due to the growing popularity of the SUBWAY® chain, with the diverse multicultural population across the UK and Ireland, we put a programme in place in 2007 to ensure that the population demographic is taken into account when new store openings are considered in order that we meet consumer demand in each location.
“All our suppliers comply with EU animal welfare legislation as a minimum and we require suppliers of Halal products to adopt the stunning of animals prior to their slaughter. All Halal meats are certified by the appropriate Halal authorities.
“All Halal SUBWAY® stores have numerous signs stating that they serve Halal food. These are situated on the menu panels, nutritional information and in the front window of the store.”
It also means that pork is not on the menu anywhere in Halal stores, having been substituted for turkey meat.
KFC says it is running a trial of Halal food at certain outlets across the country.
The KFC website says: “At KFC we listen to our customers to help us to evolve our menu and the choices we offer.
“For some time, we have received requests to provide halal food in parts of the UK and as a result of this, we are running a halal trial within communities where we anticipate a strong demand for halal products.
“Find out if the store near you is Halal certified at https://www.kfc.co.uk/find-us”
Restaurants NOT currently serving Halal meat. If you’re looking for Halal, these won’t be an option:
“At this current time we do not offer a Halal option.”
A spokesman explains why McDonald’s doesn’t offer Halal food: “We offer a range of food choices in our restaurants and talk to our customers regularly to find out what they want from us.
“We conducted a Halal trial a few years ago in one restaurant in Southall and we learnt that Halal certified food is only popular with a very small percentage of customers and to offer it in our restaurants would require significant changes to our kitchen procedures and supply chain.
“Given this, we decided not to offer Halal food in the UK.”
“None of the food served at Pizza Hut in the UK and Ireland is halal certified.”
This is a bit of a mixed bag. Some of the chicken used at Domino’s is Halal by default because of where it comes from. But some is not.
A spokesman said: “We do not position our stores or meat as halal approved.
“However, most of our chicken is sourced from suppliers in Thailand, whose product is certified as halal by religious authorities in the country.
“The exception is our chicken wings, which are sourced from suppliers across EU countries, some of which are not halal approved.”
Generally, the pizza maker’s food is not Halal. However, there are two Halal options on the menu: chargrilled chicken topping and the chicken poppers side.
A spokesman said: “Currently, we don’t offer a Halal range. We get requests for many specialist ranges such as gluten-free and Halal and the challenge for us at Greggs is that most of our shops are very small with limited display space so we try to offer food that will appeal to everyone”