Islamic council says halal restaurants, such as McDonald’s, must exercise discretion by ensuring there is no cross-contamination and the item is not brought into the kitchen.
PETALING JAYA: McDonald’s Singapore may review its policy to allow the consumption of non-halal birthday cakes in its chain of restaurants, following the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore’s (Muis) recommendation of a “flexible approach”, reports The Straits Times.
In a statement, Muis said customers could consume certain foods that were not halal, such as birthday cakes and baby food, in a halal-certified restaurant .
It said halal restaurants must exercise discretion in such cases by ensuring there was no cross-contamination and the item was not brought into the kitchen, food preparation area or storage facilities; only disposable cutlery was used for the item; and any unconsumed remnants were bagged and immediately disposed of.
“As long as these conditions are met, Muis is of the view that the principles of halal certification are still preserved,” the Straits Times quoted Muis as saying.
On Dec 29 last year, McDonald’s Malaysia made the news when it stated that all birthday cakes brought into its restaurants had to be halal certified, in compliance with Islamic Development Department (Jakim) requirements.
The stance won the approval of Jakim, but drew flak from many who ridiculed the requirement as being hard to enforce as well as divisive in nature.
Following threats of a boycott, the notices of the policy were reportedly removed from some McDonald’s outlets in Sarawak, which has a smaller Muslim population compared with other states in Malaysia
McDonald’s Singapore last week confirmed it had a similar policy in place.
Its government relations and communication director Faz Hussen said: “We need to adhere strictly to Muis’ regulations to ensure the food we serve is halal and suitable for the consumption of our Muslim friends.”
Muis has explained that the fast food giant had made the statement without prior consultation with the council, and Muis had since contacted McDonald’s Singapore regarding the relaxation of conditions for halal certification.