Cape Town - A local Food Lover’s Market has been slammed by a customer for selling pork despite their brochures stating that the store is “strictly halaal”.
The Muslim Judicial Council’s Halaal Trust (MJCHT) has now suspended the halaal certificate of Fresher’s Butcher at Food Lover’s Market in Access Park.
It comes after messages by an upset Muslim customer who spotted pork products in-store was circulated on WhatsApp and Facebook, and she reported the store to the MJCHT.
“We are currently investigating claims that Fresher’s Butcher is not complying to the MJCHT’s Halaal standards and operating procedures,” said MJCHT chief operating officer Shaykh Moosa Titus.
He confirmed the store’s management met with the MJCHT on Monday to discuss the issue.
“In our initial investigations, we can confirm that no contamination occurred in the Halaal certified butchery. The store’s management removed all pork products from the store - which was located in a separate area away from the butcher.
“This particular area does not fall under the jurisdiction of the MJCHT. The store requested the MJCHT to cleanse the area immediately,” Titus said.
The customer took to Facebook on Saturday, saying she approached management after she found pork next to the cheese.
Her post reads: “So Food Lovers in Access Park state in their weekly brochure that their Access Park store does not stock or sell pork products and that they are strictly halaal. Lies all lies. To my disgust I saw that they indeed stock and sell pork meat at their cheese counter. (sic)”
She says a manager confirmed their butchery is halaal, but that they never stated their store is “strictly halaal”.
She posted pictures of the store’s brochure which states: “Access Park is strictly halaal. Pork products not available at Access Park.”
The woman said she will not shop at the store again.
“If they can lie about something so significant then how can we believe that their butcher is even halaal?”
Food Lover’s Market’s Head of Butchery, Simon Parker, confirms a meeting was held with the MJCHT.
“We welcome the comment and guidance from the MJCHT, who has decided to temporarily suspend the Halaal certification in the butchery while an investigation is underway. The certificate will be reinstated as soon as the MJCHT is satisfied that compliance to MJCHT’s Halaal standards and operating procedures are being met,” Parker says.
“Food Lover’s Market wishes to apologise to the Islamic community shopping at Access Park.”