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Town Hall wants tougher controls on Halal meat

PUBLISHED: 08:00 13 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:42 05 October 2010

TIGHTER controls on Halal meat are being looked into by public health officials in London’s East End. A campaign for new standards may soon be under way by Tower Hamlets Council which covers an area with a high proportion of Muslims in the population

By Mike Brooke

TIGHTER controls on Halal meat are being looked into by public health officials in London’s East End.

A campaign for new standards may soon be under way by Tower Hamlets Council which covers an area with a high proportion of Muslims in the population.

The Government’s Meat Hygiene Service has the responsibility for the slaughter and quality of all meat sold in Britain.

But the remit does not extend to religious issues relating to slaughter such as Muslim Halal or Jewish Kosher produce.

CONFUSION

Halal has two competing meat organisations accrediting abattoirs in East London and elsewhere, which the local authority says is causing public confusion.

“People never quite know what they’re getting and what interpretation has been used in the production of the meat,” said council cabinet member Abdal Ullah.

“We’ll campaign for greater controls on this and will approach other local authorities and lobby the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Environment to introduce new controls across the board.”

The council is concerned about the differing opinions the two Halal bodies have about interpreting religious slaughter. It has received enquiries from people concerned about the description of Halal meat, as there is no national control over production.

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