At a conference in the Hijaz Centre, Nuneaton, around 40 of the UK’s leading Islamic scholars agreed KFC should stop selling its chicken labelled as halal because it is machine-slaughtered, which they claim is not permitted under Islamic law.
Naved Syed, a halal processor, told Meatinfo.co.uk that the decision is in line with FSA guidelines, which state that each animal must be slaughtered by a man with a knife and “Bismillah Allahu Akbar” (In the name of God, God is the Greatest) must be said on each animal or bird. FSA guidelines also say that no animal must see another animal being killed.
Syed said: “The FSA don’t enforce the guidance they have 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 are not.”
However, the Halal Food Authority (HFA), which monitors KFC's halal standards, has insisted that machine slaughter is acceptable.
HFA president Khawaya Mahsood said: “If someone is saying it’s not right, then they need to say why.
“The knife and the machine are man-made, it’s not the machine that is doing the slaughter it’s the blade. It’s not mentioned in the older scripture how slaughter is done. It does not say in the original scriptures that machines cannot be used so it’s an improvement of the original.”
KFC told Meatinfo.co.uk that it was satisfied with its practice and didn’t see reason to change any operations with regards to slaughter of halal.
A KFC spokesperson said: “We have worked closely with the HFA for our halal products and have complete confidence in its credentials.”