MUIS clarifies McDonald's statement on halal-only birthday cakes

MUIS clarifies McDonald's statement on halal-only birthday cakes

MUIS says it adopts "a flexible approach" for the consumption of outside food, such as birthday cakes and baby food, in halal-certified restaurants.

SINGAPORE: The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) has clarified that it adopts "a flexible approach" for the consumption of outside food in halal-certified restaurants, after McDonald's Singapore said that only halal cakes are allowed on its premises.

In a media statement on Tuesday (Jan 10), MUIS said that in certain cases, such as with birthday cakes and baby food, customers can consume them at halal-certified restaurants.

MUIS explained that food establishments with the halal certification "may exercise some discretion in such cases" as long as the following conditions are met:

- There is no cross-contamination and the item is not brought into the kitchen/food preparation area/storage facilities

- Only disposable cutlery is used

- The food item is consumed and any remnants bagged and disposed of immediately

The fast food chain had said last week that the rule on birthday cakes was implemented in 1992 when all McDonald’s restaurants in Singapore received halal certification from MUIS.

"We need to adhere strictly to MUIS regulations to ensure the food we serve is halal and suitable for consumption for our Muslim friends," the director of government relations and communications of McDonald's Singapore, Faz Hussen, told Channel NewsAsia. "These include regulations on preparing our food, storing our ingredients and ensuring the food we serve is not mixed with non-halal food.”

MUIS said on Tuesday that while it appreciates McDonald's Singapore's approach in only allowing halal-certified birthday cakes, the fast-food chain had not consulted it when it made the statement last week.

MUIS added that it has since been in touch with McDonald's.

Source: CNA/gs