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All Swazi KFC Poultry is Halal

by 5m Editor
5 July 2010, at 7:40am

SWAZILAND - All Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in the country is slaughtered according to halal principles.

When KFC officially announced that its meat was now halal, there was a little agitation among some of its Christian customers, reports Times of Swaziland.

The dithering arose from the various misinterpretations on the true meaning of halal, some saying the meat was now dedicated to the Islam faith.

What further compounded the uncertainty was a Holy Bible quotation saying: "Thou shall not eat anything dedicated to idols."

Investigations by the newspaper have unearthed information which enthusiasts of the finger-licking-good meat can use to make informed decisions.

"When something is halal, according to the Islam faith, it is clean and 'permissible' to be consumed. Though the term is commonly used to refer to food, it can be applied to other things such as a woman," said the Imam of Ezulwini Islamic Centre.

Two years ago, the Swaziland Halaal Authority (SHA) presented its concerns to KFC that the Islam community wanted to buy the fried chicken but were unsure of its status regarding the halal regulations.

They then engaged KFC management in discussions over the issue.

KFC franchise owner, Mario Pimenta, explained that the meat had always been halal, though the Islam community did not know about this and last month they obtained a certificate declaring this.

He said the chickens were slaughtered by Swazi Poultry Processors in Matsapha, who apply strict rules in processing meat according to the halal regulations.

Mr Pimenta said: "KFC is just meat and has nothing to do with religion. We had concerns from the SHA that some Islam faith members were unsure of the status of our meat, so each time they came into KFC they had to go through the trouble of asking if the meat was halal first before eventually buying it.

"At KFC, we understand that our customers are international, so we had to do something to notify them that indeed we are halal. We informed the SHA of our state and they were happy. If the government of Swaziland accepts the Islam faith, then it follows that our products have to also accommodate Muslims."

Mr Pimenta said he was Catholic himself, further explaining that the KFC was not about religion.

He added: "I do appreciate that there might be an issue between the Islam and Christians but this has nothing to do with KFC."

He told Times of Swaziland that in South Africa, the KFC's supplier is Rainbow Chickens, which processes poultry according to the halal standards.

A Muslim priest said the short prayer made when slaughtering the chicken is 'In the name of Allah the Great'.