A woman is angry that she ate halal chicken from Keighley’s KFC restaurant without realising.
Emma Lee did not realise that all meat sold at the outlet had been slaughtered in line with Islamic beliefs.
All fillets sold at the company’s Keighley restaurant are drained of blood and blessed by a Muslim slaughterman.
The policy was brought in to cater to the large Muslim population around the restaurant at Keighley Retail Park in Hard Ings Road.
KFC says the killing method complies with both Islamic teaching and rigorous animal standards. The takeaway giant insists the chickens are stunned before they are slaughtered and their care meets UK and EU laws.
Ms Lee, from the Skipton area, said she felt “totally violated” when she discovered what she had eaten during her visit.
She said: “I was absolutely disgusted. I have been eating food that is against my beliefs!”
Ms Lee said she objected to halal killing on both religious and animal welfare grounds. She said: “I have no problem with people who do wish to eat halal meat, that is their personal choice.
“I just feel like I had my personal choice taken away from me by changing the meat without informing us so I could go elsewhere.”
Ms Lee said that while queuing she noticed a certificate on the wall saying the restaurant was allowed to sell halal meat.
She added: “I sat down to enjoy my dinner and got thinking about this. I started to get a bit concerned. It turns out that all the meat they serve in store is halal meat. I feel that everybody should know what they are eating.”
KFC introduced halal-only meat at about 100 restaurants across the UK last year in communities where it anticipated a strong demand. Pork is not allowed under Islamic law, so the company’s Big Daddy burger with bacon was withdrawn.
Although the chickens are killed mechanically, the slaughter and preparation methods are certified by the Halal Food Authority.
KFC’s website states: “The edicts and requirements for Halal accreditation are strictly followed. A verse is recited from the Qu’ran by an appropriate person at the point of slaughter.”
KFC said the animals were not dead prior to slaughtering and all blood was drained from their bodies. It added: “We remain committed to the same animal welfare standards and insist our poultry is stunned before slaughter – a pain- free process that makes the animal insensible to pain and suffering.
“We will only purchase high quality, Grade A, farm-assured chicken from the same leading suppliers used by major retailers.”