Read more about the halal food controversy here!

I recently blogged about why non-Muslims should avoid halal food. Acceptance of halal food leads to pressure for more Muslim immigration and for the gradual expulsion of non-Muslims from the food industry. Moreover, a shari’a-mandated portion of the proceeds from production, certification, and sale of halal food must be handed over to Islamic “charities” as zakat, or alms — one eighth of which must be applied to financing jihad.

Those are not the only reasons to shun halal food. I noticed this unappetizing story on the RSS feed from Winds of Jihad:

Halal, the Dirtiest Grub in New York City

NY POST: Worst of the wurst: NYC’s dirtiest ‘alfresco’ food cart vendors

(hat tip Pamela Hall via Pamela Geller)

That’s wheely gross. Mobile food vendors racked up a stomach-turning 2,517 violations this year — ranging from poor personal hygiene, to serving up mystery meat, to live rodents — but the city Health Department doesn’t grade them or let the public know just how filthy they are. [emphasis added]

Sheik yer’mami has classified information that in Germany the tax-authorities, who are after small business like blood-hounds, have strict guidelines not to investigate Mohammedan businesses who are known tax-cheats……

In just four months, sidewalk slinger Bulent Isci earned 16 violations, making him the city’s vilest vendor, according to records obtained by The Post through a Freedom of Information Law request.

Isci manhandled food on the southeast corner of West 41st Street and Seventh Avenue, instead of using a utensil, and failed to wash his hands “after visiting the toilet, coughing, sneezing, smoking [or] preparing raw foods,” records show. After his first inspection in January, he failed to clean up and was cited during three more inspections in March and April.

Mubarak Ahmed broke the health code 14 times in a two-month span at his stand on West 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue, according to records. His offenses included inadequate personal cleanliness and the absence of a required sink for hand-washing.

When a Post reporter stopped by Ahmed’s stand Friday, he was scarfing down lunch — a rice-and-meat dish from a neighboring vendor — and tore an orange open with dirt-caked fingernails before serving a customer…

What’s the real problem here?

Food trucks, halal or not, “enjoy” a dubious reputation for sanitation, partly on account of the lack of hand-washing facilities. It is possible (though not necessarily cheap) to equip a food truck with a lavatory. This involves a potable-water tank, a small water heater, a water pump, the lavatory itself, and a holding tank, plus paper towels and a soap dispenser. At least in South Carolina, it’s is required by law.

I mentioned the issue of dirty halal food to Bunk Strutts, who reminded me, “Unsanitary conditions aren’t limited to halal joints. It’s not an ethnic food thing either.”

Bunk is certainly right about that! Here’s the video he sent me, featuring hilarious re-enactments of real restaurant inspection reports. A Persian pizza place is pilloried at 3:28, but, as Bunk indicates, eateries of every variety are among the guilty.

Amazing Restaurant Inspections

Uploaded by chadlnc on October 4, 2006

TRUE health inspection violations from inspectors around the country. From mice in the marinade to lettuce fished out of the garbage.

Any prepared food nowadays – not just ethnic food – is likely to have been handled by people – some from Third World countries, but by no means all – who may carry communicable diseases, who have not been trained in proper sanitation, or who disregard such training after having received it because that wasn’t the way they were raised. It takes good supervision and management to ensure compliance, which is unlikely to happen if the owners of the establishment are of the same unwholesome mindset – or if they don’t expect the laws to be enforced.

After looking at all of this evidence very carefully, I have concluded that food trucks, cafeterias, and restaurants that serve halal food might not be significantly dirtier than those that serve non-halal food. Instead, halal food is exposed to contamination before it gets to these establishments.

As Sheik pointed out above, there seems to be a double standard of enforcement, in which governmental authorities are slow or reluctant to enforce the laws and regulations, or to notify the public, when the culprits are Muslim. And that’s the real problem here.

Okaaaaay. The following incident took place in 2008, and we don’t hear about it until 2011? Even the UK Muslims themselves were well aware of issues with unsanitary halal food, as long ago as 2004.

Northampton Chronicle: Dirty fridges, out of date milk and packaging gnawed by rodents at Halal butchers shop

Published on Thursday 5 May 2011 02:10

INSPECTORS found a catalogue of hygiene breaches at a Northampton shop, including dirty fridges, out-of-date milk on sale, and mouse droppings in bags of food, a court heard.

An inspection at Kenya Halal Butchers, in Wellingborough Road, in January 2008, found packaging that had been gnawed by rodents, mouse droppings inside bags of maize, dirty kitchen utensils, cultured milk on sale that was more than six weeks out of date, and dirty floors, fridges, storage cabinets and food preparation surfaces.

Co-owner Mohammed Ayub, aged 66, of Berkeley Avenue, in Greater London, appeared before magistrates in Wellingborough yesterday and pleaded guilty to six charges of breaching food safety and environmental health regulations, including failing to comply with a hygiene improvement notice served by Northampton Borough Council in September 2007. He was fined £1,320.

His son, fellow owner Mohammed Shazan, was fined £2,500 in August 2008 for similar offences…

Sometimes it involves deliberate fraud. This happened in Australia last year:

Sydney Morning Herald: Caught red-handed in a meat makeover scandal

April 25, 2010

BUTCHERS are using the illegal preservative sulphur dioxide to make old and greying meat look fresh. A butcher in Yagoona has become the latest to be caught using the toxic additive – a major ingredient of battery acid – on beef mince.

Toufic Elarab, the owner of Yagoona Halal Meats, was also found by NSW Food Authority inspectors to be storing meat in an unsanitised shopping trolley while beef hung on rusty hooks was allowed to rest against filthy, blood-splattered walls in a storage area.

The butcher is the latest to fall foul of health restrictions against the use of sulphur dioxide to disguise old or inferior raw meat.
The NSW Food Authority warned that sulphur dioxide carried the risk of serious allergic reaction…It is banned from all raw meats, including mince, sausages, rissoles and hamburger patties.

NSW Primary Industries Minister Steve Whan said: “While the vast majority of licensed operators do the right thing, it takes just one dodgy operator to put the community at risk from food-borne illness, which can have a devastating effect.

This is a clear message to those few rogue operators who continue to do the wrong thing: we will get you.”

Yagoona Halal Meats was fined $4800 and and ordered to pay $2000 in costs by the Chief Industrial Magistrate’s Court, which had previously found against the company over six other offences. The Food Authority gave evidence that the storage area had “rusty hanging hooks and a rusty handsaw contaminated by old, dry meat”. The walls were “unclean and found to have debris and dried blood on them”.

Having failed a string of inspections over the past few years, the Yagoona butcher is one offence away from being shut down, according to sources at the Food Authority…

Will anyone go on record to tell us exactly what it takes to get an egregiously filthy halal butcher shop shut down? Did the authorities recall any of the tainted meat that had been sold by Yagoona Halal Meats? If not, why not?

Another halal food warehouse is being sued by the State of Texas, following a pattern of violations dating back to 2001:

Food Safety News: Texas Sues Halal Group Over Food Safety

by Helena Bottemiller | Dec 02, 2009

The state of Texas is suing a Halal food establishment and its business partners for several food safety violations, including holding food in an extremely unsanitary warehouse, Courthouse News Service reported yesterday.

Halal Import Food Market’s warehouse was inspected after a Texas state trooper found 148 dead goat carcasses stacked inside an unrefrigerated van. Health inspectors not only found filthy conditions at the warehouse, but discovered that 102 dead goats and boxes of organs had disappeared in transit.

According to Courthouse News Service, the complaint describes the warehouse as having, “dead birds and bird droppings on food products…live bird flying around the warehouse and resting on food products,” and points to “trash piled 6 feet deep in some places.”

The complaint also adds that inspectors found “numerous dead rodents, numerous rodent droppings along with gnawed materials and debris,” and meat rotting in a grinder.

“Cigarette butts, rotting fruit, peels, partially eaten chicken and other food,” were also scattered about the warehouse, according to the complaint.

Texas is suing Halal Import Food Market, Zamzam Supermarket, World Food Market (the two stores the state believes received the missing goat meat), Adel, Sam, Nihaya, Jamal and Shoukry Mohammed Qaddura and Riyad Ibrahim.

Halal Import Market has been cited for food safety violations since as early as 2001.

The state is seeking fines of up to $25,000 per day from each defendant for each violation of safety regulations and wants all the contaminated food destroyed.

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E. coli O157:H7 – It’s what’s for dinner!

Fecal coliform bacteria are an indication of fecal contamination and of poor sanitation in general. Certain strains of E. coli are dangerous, while others are not. Among the pathogenic E. coli strains are O104:H4 (the culprit in the deadly 2011 European outbreak) and O157:H7.

According to Wikipedia:

Escherichia coli O157:H7 is an enterohemorrhagic strain of the bacterium Escherichia coli and a cause of foodborne illness. Infection often leads to hemorrhagic diarrhea, and occasionally to kidney failure, especially in young children and elderly persons. Transmission is via the fecal-oral route, and most illness has been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef, swimming in or drinking contaminated water, and eating contaminated vegetables.

Burnaby Now puts it in somewhat plainer terms:

Food contaminated with E. coli might not look or smell spoiled.

Consumption of food contaminated with the bacteria can cause serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses.

Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Some people may have seizures or strokes and some may need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis. Others may live with permanent kidney damage. In severe cases of illness, people may die.

Notice how one Canadian halal meat purveyor managed to evade further accountability for tainted meat:

Food Safety News: BC Meat Processor Drops Federal Inspection

by News Desk | Jan 25, 2011

A meat processor that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency suspected had an E. coli contamination problem last November is opting out of federal inspection entirely and will be regulated only by the Province of British Columbia.

Provincially regulated plants are not required to test for the E. coli bacteria. Federally licensed meat processing plants in Canada, however, are required to test for E. coli O157:H7, and report positive results to CFIA.

Pitt Meadows Meats, Ltd, one of BC’s largest meat processing plants, has been under scrutiny for not immediately reporting lab results when they turned up positive for E. coli O157:H7 last fall. The company is known for its “halal” beef and lamb products, made in accordance with Islamic law and sold in many Middle Eastern food markets in the greater Vancouver area.

After the test result Sept. 9, Pitt Meadows destroyed 61 cases of product, but did not notify CFIA. Then an employee whistleblower turned Pitt Meadows into CBC News. The company told the CBC it had questioned the validity of the test results, and suspected an employee might be trying to sabotage its operation.

After it became aware of the possible contamination, CFIA issued a public health warning Nov. 9, advising the Vancouver Islamic community not to eat meat from the plant.

Later tests were all negative for E. coli. Pitt Meadows was closed down for a month, but re-opened Dec. 6.

There were no reports of illnesses associated with Pitt Meadows meats last fall, but CFIA officials say the only way to know now if there is E. coli contamination at Pitt Meadows will be after someone gets sick. [emphasis added]

Or after a LOT of people get sick.

Readers of public health journals learned over a decade ago that pathogen-tainted halal food is a widespread problem, and not a matter of isolated instances. But somehow this information never made it into the mainstream media or reached the general public. Wonder why not!

Microbiological investigation of halal butchery products and butchers’ premises

(Communicable Disease and Public Health, Vol. 2 No. 2, June 1999, full text available at the above link)

Summary: Halal butchers’ premises were investigated as they had not been represented in a recent study of butchery products and butchers’ premises conducted by the Local Authorities Coordinating Body on Food and Trading Standards and the PHLS. This study examined 183 raw prepared meats and 212 environmental samples from 105 halal butcher premises. Only raw meats were prepared on 97 of the premises visited; and the types of meat prepared on the remaining eight premises was not specified. Four halal butchers sold cooked meats prepared elsewhere. Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. were detected in 12 (7%) and 52 (28%) of the 183 raw meat products, respectively. Five raw prepared meats (3%) contained both salmonella and campylobacter. Vero cytotoxin producing Escherichia coli O157 was isolated from a raw meat product that also contained campylobacter. No cooked meat products were available for collection. The physical separation of raw and unwrapped cooked meat products in premises that prepared raw and sold cooked meats was not recorded. Apron cloths were the most heavily contaminated environmental samples examined; hygiene indicator microorganisms indicated an increased risk of cross contamination. Managers in 85 premises had received no food hygiene training and 88 premises had no hazard analysis system in place. Improvements are needed to reduce the risk of cross contamination…

Improvements are needed… Gee, ya think?

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Oh, and by the way, you won’t automatically know when you’re getting halal meat. Just sayin’.

Daily Mail (UK): Chicken McHalal: An MoS investigation reveals that halal meat IS used in one of McDonald’s most popular meals

Fast-food giant McDonald’s has admitted selling halal chicken without telling its customers. The poultry was used in popular menu items such as Chicken McNuggets and the McChicken Sandwich in its 1,200 British outlets.

The admission comes three weeks after the company categorically denied to this newspaper that it used any halal meat. Now McDonald’s has revealed that the firm that supplies its poultry, Cargill, produces halal chicken at one of its abattoirs.

In a statement to The Mail on Sunday, McDonald’s said: ‘As a result of your enquiries, our investigation has confirmed that some halal chicken has entered our supply chain without our knowledge, and we apologise to our customers for this.

Food chain: Halal poultry has been used in popular menu items such as Chicken McNuggets and the McChicken Sandwich in its 1,200 British outlets

‘While is it not a quality issue, halal chicken is outside of our specification. We have received assurances from Cargill that halal meat production from this abattoir has now stopped.’

McDonald’s says all the chicken in its restaurants comes from poultry which has been stunned before slaughter. Meanwhile, Asda, Britain’s second-largest supermarket chain, has admitted that much of its lamb and chicken is slaughtered according to Islamic ritual…

Also see:

Bon appétit!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ralph Lynn July 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Gordon Ramsay! I never touch the stuff if I can help it, but you just never know these days, particularly in the UK where most supermarket meat is halal. Processed food is going halal as are pre-packed sandwiches.

I have a friend who works middle management in the food industry and has related much the same as your hair raising report. Stick to family run butchers, delis, bakeries, grocers and local markets. Halal food is growing fast and won’t be going away any time soon.

2 1389 July 22, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Good advice!

I might add that kosher food, if you can obtain it, is held to high safety standards.

3 Betty August 10, 2011 at 8:48 pm

run these filthy pigs out of the USA

4 Libertarian August 11, 2011 at 10:59 am

This halal food was filthy, but most halal food is found clean (I’m a New Yorker, one of the most diverse places known- I should know)

P.S. There is extremely few differences between halal and kosher, some people also see it as interchangeable.

5 1389 August 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm

The halal restaurant itself may be clean, but if the halal meat came from a slaughterhouse or warehouse where proper procedures are not followed, the meat may already be tainted before the restaurant receives it. Microbially tainted meat does not always look, taste, or smell abnormal, but it can still make you sick. Restaurant inspectors check on whether proper procedures are being followed at the restaurant, but their duties are unlikely to include testing the meat that arrives from the purveyor.

There still seems to be a problem with enforcement of sanitation requirements for halal food trucks in NYC.
See: The only thing filthier than this Muslim hot dog vendor’s cart is his mouth

6 Read The Quran August 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm

AllahsQuran dot com

Ignorance brees hate, inform your self before you die.

7 1389 August 29, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I’m not sure whether this is a death threat or not. Either way, it is clearly not a friendly message. Nonetheless, I find it encouraging that my message is reaching a lot of people, including those who disagree with me.

8 Gramfan August 31, 2011 at 1:11 am

For your Aussie readers, 1389:

You can check it out.

I thinks Muslims can eat Kosher, but not all Jews would find all Halal food acceptable.

“Ignorance brees hate, inform your self before you die.”

Wow! Nice threat.NOT!

We have read the Koran – kill the infidel wherever you find him, right?

You just proved it!

9 DeucePrez November 26, 2011 at 11:54 am

Ok. 😕

How about, “Ignorance brees hate, inform yourself while you are alive & sound of mind“? I don’t believe anyone was being “threatened to read the Holy Qur’an“. We’re all going to die one day.

That particularly applies to misconstrued Quranic ayats (verses), something Islamaphobes often do….intentionally or otherwise. 😕

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