Halal furore said to be driving consumers back to butchers

In the wake of the media focus on supermarkets selling unlabelled halal meat, a Shropshire butcher says it has been inundated with enquiries about its meat, with people once again losing trust in the major retailers.

According to G N Badley & Sons, people in Shropshire are concerned about being misled over the meat they are buying and, as a result, it received three times the usual number of enquiries in the 48 hours up to Saturday evening (10 May).

Kay Badley, a director at the butchers, said: “The enquiries came from both regular customers and new ones too. They have been asking if our produce is halal. It seems to simply be a case of people wanting to know what they are eating and, in many cases, customers are concerned about how animals have been treated before they end up on our counter.

“What this weekend has been is a stark reminder of the horsemeat scandal last year when customers felt they could have been cheated and misled. We were proud to say then that all our produce was labelled correctly and, in light of what could be the next big meat scandal, our produce is once again exactly as labelled.”

A number of national media outlets ran stories on the stocking of unlabelled halal meat in major supermarkets, due to New Zealand lamb using halal methods of slaughter in its slaughterhouses.

Badley said that, as with horsegate, the story has once again shown that people should trust their local butcher over the supermarkets.

“People just want to know what they are eating and to be able to trust someone to tell them what they are eating. Once again, it is big supermarkets that have said their produce could be classed as halal, but it is not labelled as such. The story, which broke last week, has driven a lot of people back to their family butcher because they know they can trust them. It is déjà vu really.”

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