German supermarket chain Aldi is offering refunds to Muslims who accidentally bought pork-based snacks, released as part of a ‘Best of Scotland’ promotion, which combined traditional Punjabi and Scottish foods.
The £1.49 snacks, manufactured for Aldi by Punjab Pakora blended traditional Indian cuisine with either black pudding – which is made out of pig blood – or haggis. The packaging came complete with the official UK Health Code stamp which denoted it as certified Halal and safe for Muslim consumption, despite the list of ingredients next to the stamp clearly listing “Pork Blood, Pork Skins” as making up 10 per cent of the product.
Punjab Pakora admitted the mistake and blamed human error. A spokesman for the company said: “The mistake happened when we did the print run and unfortunately our manager failed to spot this error and got approval for printing.
“We have been trying our very best and hardest (to correct the issue) and have contacted different clients involved and have sorted the issue”, reports The Express.
Despite being offered a refund, some customers were unhappy. Muslim shopper Manahil Khan said of the mistake: “This is absolutely outrageous and I am deeply offended by this.
“I am pretty sure many others of the Muslim community are also very offended by this. It is demoralizing and goes against ones religious morals and scripture, and I speak on behalf of every Muslim and human that does not deserve to be misled by any sort of false claim of halal food or lies about what we consume”.
Despite the outrage, the product has presumably proven popular with consumers who don’t base their food choices on Islamic scripture, as the product remains on sale on the Aldi website, days after the discovery.
This is not the first time that Haram (forbidden) food has been labelled as Halal (clean). Breitbart London reported last year that a French start-up had developed Halal ‘tester kits’, for Muslims nervous about what they were eating. Priced at €6.90 per test, it detects the presence of banned substances pork, alcohol, and human blood.
The designer came upon the concept after the French Herta Halal Hotdogs scandal – otherwise known as ‘Halalgate’ in 2011, after some sausages were proven to contain pork. Muslim consumers responded by boycotting Herta, and even packing ‘Haram’ stickers on products on supermarket shelves. The product was consequently withdrawn in 2012.