The Halal-Certified but Not Halal-Certified

by Jumaiyah Mahathir Apr 04, 2016


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While reading this article, we implore you to think about it and subsequently let us know your thoughts. For all you know, my team is just as confused as you are.

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Caught your muslim friends enjoying a meal at a place you've never been before?[/caption] Have you ever seen someone on Facebook or on any form of social media,  post about themselves eating somewhere you’ve never heard of? After seeing such a post, you might be thinking something along the lines of..

  • " So Nice! I want to eat there! "
  • " Eh? I thought this place wasn’t halal? "
  • " Ah ni ah kawan aku makan sembarang "
  • Etc...

Whatever your reaction may be, a quiet voice inside your head will make you think.. “If my friend is eating it, then it means I should be able to eat it too.” This place, could be Tiffany Café, located at FURAMA City Centre. You make plans, and then one fine day you arrive at Tiffany Café. As you start looking around – and you look around HARD - but you see no halal certificate displayed, and you also don’t notice any muslim staff within the café. So the next big question mark that pops up in your head might go along the lines of "so... Am I going to eat here or not?"   Tiffany Café claims to serve halal food with very good reasons – and they are not the only ones who do so.

Traditionally, a café is a place that serve beverages and cakes or small snacks. It is a place for people to sit and talk, and not to really have a full meal. But since our community in Singapore loves eating so much, we have cafés that also serve full lunch and dinner menus. They may have their own small kitchen within the café / bistro to prepare the food, or in the case of Tiffany Café, they will bring in their food from a centralised kitchen – since they have an internal kitchen for the hotel. Sometimes, the hotel management will get halal certification for their hotel kitchen because they have muslim staff working within the premises. When this happens, they will supply the food from the halal-certified kitchen to their café for their café guests. So technically, the food served in the café is halal, right?

Question: Since they are serving halal-certified food why don’t they just get halal certificate for the café as well?

Answer: They can’t do this because the café serves alcoholic beverages that does not meet the halal certification standards. As a consumer, there is also no way for me to verify that the halal certificate from the kitchen is still valid or expired, or that maybe they have decided not to renew it since the certificate is not displayed. It is not as if I can just waltz into their kitchen to do a verification before I decide to order my lunch. So the question remains: To EAT or not To EAT? --- What ever you answer may be, I want you to tell me what you think and why.

Tell US at halalfoodhunt.com. We are in the middle of deciding which makan places to list on halalfoodhunt.com and how do we best go about it so we want you to be a part of this discussion. As a marketing / publishing company, we can do the verification with the Cafe, and publish on our site that Tiffany Café ‘supplies food from a halal certified kitchen’.

We can even keep track of the expiry of this certificate such that in any event where the hotel decides that the kitchen doesn’t want to be certified anymore, their listing will be removed from halalfoodhunt.com But then again, if we publish such cafés on our site and the visitors from our website end up visiting the Café only to be greeted by alcoholic beverages on the menu, what does that imply?

Chew on that food for thought and let's decide what food should be in our tummies. Help us figure out this puzzle, and just tell us what you think here - there is no right and no wrong and we will keep your thoughts confidential. Halalfoodhunt.com listings page is meant for you to use any way, so let us know, yes or no, and why, ok? Feel free to share this link tinyurl.com/sghalalsurvey with your friends. 

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halalfoodhunt.com is a website listing verified Muslim-owned or Halal Certified food businesses. We started out educating halal foodies on how to know if a food is halal or not when there are no halal certifications. As we received so many enquiries on whether a food business is halal or not, we created halalfoodhunt.com, while letting halal foodies know about the myriad of options open to them! It is a website created and self-funded by local Singaporean Muslims for the Singaporean Muslim community.

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