Freeman’s of Newent and the Nando’s scare!

UPDATE:

The Institute of Islamic Jurisprudence UK have certified Freeman’s as Halaal after much painstaking research and an unannounced visit to the plant. They are satisfied with the level of their standards to provide Halaal. The Scholars have made sure that there is a strict demarcation between the Haraam and Halaal meats in Freeman’ so that contamination is not possible. They do stun but at a low voltage (which means that the chicken is not killed in the process) hence Halaal. A scholar on the board told me that after the stunning, they picked up some chickens and they were far from dead just slightly groggy.

Read the rest of the article at the Gloucester Muslim Welfare Association’s Food Guide website.
as-salamu ‘alaykum,

Every few months an email circulates about Freeman’s halal chicken and it is usually a scare story which mentions Nando’s as not being halal because of the stunning that Freeman’s of Newent do (no mention of the hundreds of other Muslim owned outlets that serve Freeman’s halal chicken!). I had forwarded the latest Nando’s halal-scare email to Freeman’s to get to the bottom of the story.

I have just spoken directly (by ‘phone) to Ali Bham the head slaughterman of Freeman’s of Newent.

Ali Bham is a Gujerati Indian Muslim who has been slaughtering for Freeman’s for the last 23 years. He tells me that Freeman’s uses low voltage, high frequency stunning prior to slaughter, each bird receives a 4.2 volt shock and then hand slaughtered. This system, he says, was specifically designed and developed for the halal market. The equipment is regularly tested to ensure that it does not induce death prior to slaughter. He told me that when they apply this stun to a chicken, after a few minutes it gets up and walks away and he has never known a chicken to have died using this method.

The demand for halal chicken is about 50,000 birds a day and so in order to fulfil this demand they (and like many other poultry production units as well) have to utilise stunning. Now, my understanding of stunning is that in and of itself it doesn’t necessarily make the animal haram, it is if the animal has died prior to the slaughter that determines its status as halal or haram. Ali tells me that he can give a personal guarantee, as a Muslim that not a single bird dies before being slaughtered. He went onto say that should anyone wish to visit their facilities at any time they are free to do so. Ali also mentions that Mufti Yusuf Sacha of the Institute of Islamic Jurisprudence from Batley (in Yorkshire) visits their facilities and is 100% satisfied with their production output as being halal (my cousin Najam Sheikh also spoke with Mufti Yusuf directly to confirm). You can read a statement on The Gloucester Muslim Welfare Association website to that effect which I have reproduced below:

Answered: 31/08/2003
Last Updated: 03/02/2007 February 2007
Confirmed with Mufti Yusuf that the information herein is still correct.

April 2006 – We have confirmed with Mufti Yusuf that the information herein is still correct.

Assalamooalaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Respected Sister/Brother, We would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us all to serve His cause and render our work for His Sake. Hereunder is the response to your query subject to disclaimer:

At the outset we would like to point out that the Foodguide cannot advise you as to what method Freeman’s use for dhabah (Islaamic Slaughter) nor do we have the resources and manpower to follow through such queries (at present).

However, we are reliably informed that the Institute of Islamic Jurisprudence, Batley have concluded that the chicken slaughtering regime at Freeman’s is Halaal. We would also advise that there is a similar organisation based in Leicester which refuse to certify any slaughterhouses that stun and to this end have refused to certify Freeman’s. Notwithstanding, the Institute of Islamic Jurisprudence is headed by two reliable and reputable scholars viz: Mufti Yusuf Sacha and Mufti Faheem Mayaat.

The choice as they say, is yours.

Allah reward you for using the Foodguide Service. Allah give us tawfique to eat Halaal all the time. Please tell your friends and please pray for us too…. and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Was-Salaamu alaikum
Foodguide Administrator

As with all things, if in doubt leave and as the Foodguide administrator says “the choice is yours”.

wa’as-salam

Mas’ud
www.masud.co.uk

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12 thoughts on “Freeman’s of Newent and the Nando’s scare!”

  1. so does that mean that the Nandos that state that they are halal? that they are actually halal, cos ive continuously been hearing stuff about them being haram even though they state they are halal.

  2. The reason the birds are given a low voltage stun is because they panic and flap their wings causing bruising.A bruise retains the blood and is therefore not halal. By calming the birds down with a mild stun [ from which they can get up 20seconds later ]the slaughterman can ensure that all blood is drained from the bird.

  3. I have been to Nando’s just outside Leicester. They have a big sign up that states they are halaal. BUT, they serve alcohol!! We left, very hungry and disappointed, especially since we travelled for 4 hours to get there!


    Masud’s Response: On this basis you shouldn’t be buying anything from supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury since they too are licensed to sell alcohol.

  4. Selling alcohol and serving/consumption in a place are two different things! Quite simply where alcohol is consumed, you should not eat there!

  5. In reponse to: Aug 16, 2007 – 11:08:00
    Anonymous said:
    The reason the birds are given a low voltage stun is because they panic and flap their wings causing bruising.A bruise retains the blood and is therefore not halal. By calming the birds down with a mild stun [ from which they can get up 20seconds later ]the slaughterman can ensure that all blood is drained from the bird.

    Forgive me sir, but if what you say is true, then all the Chicken the Prophet’s consumed were haram, and every chicken consumed prior to the technological advancement of stunning would also be haraam – owing to your suggestion that blood would still be left in the chicken, thus rendering it Haraam.

    The assumption you use that stunning drains the blood completley is also false. You may want to research the area in question before commenting.

    The method Freemans use is to dip the chicken in the water and apply a ‘low level of voltage’. This is the cause for concern for some. I personally beleive these Chickens cannot be classified as halal as the Chicken has already been dealt a violent blow – its been electricuted.

    One reason as to why stunning appeals to slaughter houses is that stunning settles the Chicken, resulting in less bruising, thus more marketable.

    If you visit HFA website, you will see they approve of stunning as it does not kill the bird, stating this is the only requirement that must be met in determining whether the chicken is halal or not. HMC on the other hand consider stunning as not being halal, owing to the fact that they consider this to be a violent blow. They also consider other criteria such as being hand slaughtered a requirement where as HFA omit this.

    What you should also remeber is that Nandos and Freemans are not responsible for determining what constitutes as being halal or not, thus cannot be blamed for mis-leading consumers. It is the scholars which determine this, so any issues/questions you have should be raised with them.

    Hope the above helps.

    For Azeezah who has refrained from eating there, owing to Alcohol being sold, one can only comend such acts of taqwah.

  6. How can Nando’s be halal if the chicken is stunned. Stunning is not allowed Islam. Ali Bham confirmed in the UK it is the law that their have to stun the chicken however UK law gives religions a free will to sluaghter their own way in accordance with their religon.

    I dnt understand how can stunned chicken b halal?

  7. For those of you that require to eat Halal meat you really should go to the vicinity of this site in Newent. The smell fromn this process is truly dreadful and would potentailly put you off from eating any of the Cagill Freeman chicken products for life. It is truly awful.

  8. If stunning was 100% haram there is no way that the whole of the middle east, north africa, turkey, malaysia, indonesia and other countries would have 70-90% of their meat stunned. Islamic institues in SA, egypt, malaysia turkey all say stunning is halal as long as the chicken does not die. All these countries use low voltage. I used to think that stunning was not allowed until i realised that the muslim world also stun and have said its halal. If muft Yusuf says that the animals do not die and has given a halal certificate then how can anyone here say stunning is haram???? if you think its doubtful then stay away from stunned meat its very simple, But keep in mind if you go on holiday to muslim country more than likely you will be eating stunned meat especially in the arab, north african and far east countries.

    1. All these idiots are in it for the money. The Islamic mullers ain’t got a clue until money is involved…the certificates are produced around money. A dam chicken costs money to produce feed a baird and you will know the difference freeman and free range. A fraud is being committed by these chicken slaughter men. IM a butcher and to slaughter 50 thousand chickens in a day is pure bull poop. These chickens are tortured lets put a shock up these fools who are claiming these chickens are halal. Every shock they take reward them a certificate fools

    2. It is coming near the end of times so all people will be misleading whether it’s Muslim countries or not, it’s up to you to make your mind up. Personally I think the rich Arab countries are not doing anything for the Muslim ummah in need so why are we going to trust them now.

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