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CAIR Thanks Md.-Based Grocery Distributor for Quick Clarification on Mislabeled Halal Meat at Va. Store

‘Pork’ labeled as halal was really mislabeled lamb that had been slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines

(WASHINGTON, D.C, 2/17/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today thanked Maryland-based Lotte Plaza Market’s quick investigation and clarification of mislabeling of halal meat products at one of its Virginia stores.

[NOTE: “Halal” is the Arabic word for foods permitted allowed under Islamic dietary laws, which are similar to those used to produce kosher products for the Jewish community. Both Muslims and Jews are not permitted to consume pork products.]

CAIR recently received a complaint that the Lotte Plaza Market in Chantilly, Va., labeled a pork product as “halal.” A CAIR staffer went to the store to verify the complaint and then the Washington, D.C.-based civil rights organization sent a letter to the Lotte Plaza Market’s CEO seeking an investigation.

PHOTO: Correctly-Labeled Halal Product

https://www.cair.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/HalalLamb.jpg

In a letter sent to CAIR, the distributor stated:

“Rest assured. . .we were not selling pork products as Halal — as we know that is an impossibility. The particular product at issue was actually Frozen Halal Bone in Lamb Shank, which product we have sold at this store for many years. 

In other words, it was not pork sold as Halal but Halal lamb product mis-labeled as pork. After investigating the matter, we discovered that one of our employees entered the wrong code into the label machine and generated the incorrect description of the product that day.  The mislabeling was corrected immediately. Again, the actual product in the picture sent was Halal Bone in Lamb Shank. . .

Again, we sincerely apologize for this mishap and we have since disciplined the employee regarding this matter.  At Lotte Plaza Market, Muslim customers are deeply valuable to us and will strive to better serve the Muslim community in the DC area. . .”

“We thank Lotte Plaza Market for its quick clarification of the mislabeling and for the actions taken to ensure this type of mistake is not repeated,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “We admire the organization’s commitment to one of its guiding principles — ‘listen to the softest voice and respond with meaningful action’ – and urge members of the Muslim community to continue shopping at Lotte Plaza Market stores.” 

Awad noted that the Code of Virginia (§ 3.2-5124) regulates the packaging of Halal products.

SEE: Labeling as kosher and halal

https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title3.2/chapter51/section3.2-5124/

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.  

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.           

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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Manager Ayan Ajeen, 202-774-0770, aajeen@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com   

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