By Anees Teladia
The Muslim Judicial Council Halaal Trust (MJCHT) has investigated complaints of alleged cross-contamination at certain Kekkel ‘n Kraai outlets, after it found “misleading” labelling on chicken products certified as halaal. It has found that out of 56 franchised Kekkel & Kraai stores in the Western Cape, only 11 stores are halaal; three of which are halaal certified and eight of which are Muslim owned. The other 45 Kekkel & Kraai stores are not halaal.
The VOC Newsroom was alerted to the issue by a Muslim employee at one of the Athlone branches certified by the MJCHT. The concern raised was that Muslim consumers were being misled into thinking the chicken they were purchasing was fully halaal and free from cross contamination, when in fact, there were no checks and balances to ensure halaal standards remain in place.
In an interview with VOC, MJCHT director, Shaykh Achmat Sedick said that the confusion and misleading labelling stems from the purchasing and repacking processes.
“The chicken at Kekkel & Kraai (all 56 stores) is sourced as part of a franchise from County Fair. All of them buy from County Fair. County Fair also packs the Kekkel & Kraai chicken, so therefore you find the logo which is a halal logo. This means chicken coming from County Fair is halaal,” said Shaykh Sedick.
“However, when Kekkel & Kraai get it [the chicken], they open it up and cut up the whole bird. They then use some portions in their own stuff and repack it.”
“Now the process of repacking and then putting the logo of Kekkel & Kraai with the County Fair logos, that is what creates the confusion.”
Each business that is given halaal certification has a dedicated Halaal Trust (HT) number which can be used to trace the source of the halaal product.
“The HT number is a four (4) digit number and it is your [business’s] dedicated number… we allocate everyone a dedicated HT number. It’s not reusable,” said Shaykh Sedick.
“We use that as a traceability number.”
Essentially, the MJCHT and the consumer can know who the true recipient of the halaal logo is, or was intended to be, through the use of the HT number.
Find the official statement by the MJCHT below: