Fast food giant Subway has removed ham and bacon from 185 stores and switched to halal meat in the UK after demands from its Muslim customers.
Halal foods are foods that Muslims are allowed to eat or drink under Islamic law. Pork isn’t permitted and the slaughtering of animals must be performed by a Muslim, who first invokes the name of Allah, cuts the throat, windpipe and the blood vessels (while the animal is conscious), and drains all the blood from the veins.
A Subway spokeswoman stated, “The growing popularity of the Subway chain with the diverse multicultural population across the UK and Ireland means we have to balance the values of many religious communities with the overall aim of improving the health and welfare standards of animals.
‘We put a programme into 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.”
Fear of Muslims has multiplied greatly after the London bombings in July 2005. Muslims make up 4.8% of the population, which is up 3% from 2001. Muslims constitute 12.4% of the London population and 7% in the West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber.
Fast food giant Subway has removed ham and bacon from almost 200 outlets, and switched to halal meat alternatives in an attempt to please its Muslim customers.
It has confirmed turkey ham and turkey rashers will be used instead in 185 of its stores, where all the meat will now be prepared according to halal rules.
The chain, which has around 1,500 outlets across the UK, explained its decision by saying it had to balance animal welfare concerns with ‘the views of religious communities’.
Nearly 200 Subway branches across the UK and Ireland have cut out ham and bacon, selling only halal meat, in response to demand from their multicultural customers
Traditional halal slaughter sees animals have their throats slit before bleeding to death. But Subway stressed that the meat served in its sandwiches would come from animals that have been stunned first, a practice that aims to reduce any suffering.
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 to indicate food – particularly meat – has been prepared in accordance with Muslim principles and techniques.
Muslims are forbidden from eating any non-halal food and meat from pigs and Subway said customers can identify those stores selling halal food by the special ‘All meats are Halal’ sign, which must be displayed in participating branches.
In the halal-only branches ham and bacon has been substituted for turkey ham and rashers.
Many animal charities condemn halal slaughter as being cruel to animals.
Traditionally in halal abattoirs the throats of the animals are cut while they are fully conscious – an act many campaigners say is inhumane and needlessly cruel.