According to Islamic law, halal foods are free from any component that Muslims are prohibited from consuming. It implies that the products have been carefully processed produced, manufactured and stored using utensils, equipment and machinery that have been cleansed in conformity with Islamic teaching.
Halal, an Arabic word to mean permitted, is a dietary
standard prescribed in the Qur’an. To Muslims, the label is a certification and
a green light for consuming a food product.
According to Islamic law, halal
foods are free from any component that Muslims are prohibited from consuming. It
implies that the products have been carefully processed and stored using utensils, equipment and machinery that have been cleansed in conformity
with Islamic teaching.
This belief was however shaken
when a picture of Beef Sausages with a halal label and pork fat as one of its
ingredients went viral on social media a few days ago. The sausages were packaged
by Classic Cuts Butchery Limited, owned by one Eric Sabiiti on behalf of Fresh
Chicks Ltd, a company owned by one Peace Batamiriza.
Peace Batamiriza, the proprietor
Fresh Chicks Ltd acknowledges the mistake but hastens to add that the packaging
team erred by using labels that were meant for another product. Batamiriza says
that upon detecting the problem, her team advised supermarkets to sell them
among pork products.
//Cue in; “Sausages tezalimu kizibu…
Cue out… tekigenda kuddamu kubeerawo.”//
Consumption of pork is forbidden
in Islamic teaching, alongside dead meat, blood and any animal which is not invoked
in the name of ‘Allah’. But because many people do not read the ingredients on
the products they purchase, this ‘mistake’ could have exposed a number of Muslims
and seventh day Adventists to pork products, believing that the sausages conformed
to instructions on halal.
David Kafeero, a Seventh-day
Adventist told URN in Kampala that what happened was inexcusable.
//Cue in; “Omanyi kati bwetuba…
Cue out… nze ndya buli.”//
Sheikh Munir Ssebintu, the Halal Officer at Uganda
Muslim Supreme Council, says that it’s illegal for anyone to use the word Halal
in Uganda without authorization from his department. He explains that if the incident was a
mistake the sausage makers are obliged to write an apology through the council.
//Cue in; “Aba amanye mateeka...
Cue out; yakola nsobi mubuwandiike.”//
Aminah Nabatanzi, a vendor in Owino market believes it the
placement of the label was a deliberate decision by the company to make money.
//Cue in; “Nze kangambe nti…
Cue out… mba sisobola kugiggula.”//
City Lawyer, Abdullah Kiwanuka says labelling pork sausages
as halal is an offence in different Ugandan laws since it amounts to
//Cue in; “It’s totally a…
Cue out… the question should eat.”//
and Drug Act makes it unlawful to falsely label food or drugs. It provides that any person who falsely
describes food or drug with intentions to mislead as to its nature, substance
or quality commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not
exceeding two thousand Shillings.
In Islamic teaching, Halal goes
beyond the label. Traditional halal meat is killed by hand and must be blessed
by the slaughterman in line with the strict Islam laws on slaughtering
For meat to be considered Halal, the animal must be alive and healthy
before it is killed, and all the blood must be drained from the body. This is
because Islam places great emphasis on the way in which an animal’s life ends,
according to a write up by the Islamic Council of Victoria.