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Halal: Market needs checking

Calls for more stringent controls after discovery of traces of pork in shawarma beef.

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The Danish Halal Federation is calling for more stringent controls of meat following the Food Standards Agency’s discovery of traces of pork in a consignment of shawarma meat.

The federation of 52 Muslim association’s reaction comes following the discovery in a random sample of meat from Denmark’s largest shawarma producer and distributor Anadolu Kød. The consignment concerned had not left the Anadolu stores.

The discovery of pork traces in popular shawarma meat is likely to cause consternation within Muslim communities, for whom the consumption of any type of pork is forbidden.

“We must get this market under control… We are not surprised that pork has been found in shawarma meat. We know that questionable meat is stamped as halal,” says Kamran Iqbal, the Danish Halal treasurer and board member.

The Food Standards Agency found pork traces in the meat during an extraordinary inspection campaign called for by the European Union in the wake of the recent horsemeat scandal.

Danish Halal says that it sees marketing meat as halal, when it is not, is a misleading food declaration.

As a result, Danish Halal is looking to set up an independent, non-profit inspection regime to make sure that animals are slaughtered following religious rules, and find out whether pork is mixed into halal meat.

Kamran Iqbal says that halal has become ‘big business’. “It’s not like in the good old days with a butcher that everyone knew. We have entered into a dialogue with abattoirs that produce halal. Britain and France have certification – which is something we also should have in Denmark,” Kamran Iqbal says.

Based on politiken.dk’s disclosure of pork in halal meat, Danish Halal has contacted Anadolu Kør for an explanation.

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