Cadbury chocolates were thrown into dustbins and ripped off store shelves in protest, as the Malaysian Health Ministry has found traces of pig DNA in some of the company’s batches, which were labeled as “halal,” during a routine check for non-halal substances.
“On Friday, May 23, 2014, Cadbury was informed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) that Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut 175g (with batch number 200813M01H I2 that expires on [Nov.] 13, 2014) and Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond 175g (with batch number 221013N01R I1 that expires on Jan. 15, 2015) analysed by the MOH tested positive for traces of porcine DNA,” stated Cadbury, in a May 30 press release.
Halal is Arabic for “permissible.” Fundamentally, it is meat that Muslims are allowed to eat according to Islamic Law. Halal meat is prepared according to strict guidelines, and the slaughtering process is always done by a Muslim who is past the age of puberty.
In short, the Islamic form of slaughtering halal meat is done in isolation; the animal being slaughtered must not hear, see or smell other animals being slaughtered.
The act is performed by cutting through the jugular vein, windpipe and carotid artery. The animal must be alive and healthy during the time of slaughter, and all blood is drained from the carcass upon death. During this process, a Muslim will recite an Islamic prayer to Allah, known as Tasmiya or Shahada.
Laws regarding halal state that only certain types of meat can be eaten, if, and only if, they are prepared in this specific way. However, pork can never be consumed.
See also: Producers worldwide gearing up for Halal products
Products in the Muslim majority Southeast Asian nation are regularly checked to ensure they are halal, or permissible according to Islamic law.
The discovery of pork in Cadbury chocolates has caused religious leaders to act by demanding that the company be fined or banned from Malaysia.
A Muslim retail group even declared that it would ask the 800 stores it represents to stop selling products manufactured by Cadbury.
Though Cadbury has proactively recalled the contaminated batches of chocolate, the company believes that its chocolates do not contain any pork-related ingredients.
“We stand by our halal certification and we have the highest level of product labeling standards,” stated Cadbury, in a recent press release.
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Sources: The Guardian, BBC, Reuters