The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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1:36pm on Saturday, 16th May, 2015:
Our Sainsbury's is the second-largest Sainsbury's in the UK (there's a converted factory somewhere in London with more floor space). You might suppose that this would enable the store to stock a wide range of products, which is indeed the case.
This range does not, however, extend to Halal meat. As I'm an atheist, this isn't something I've had cause to notice before, but one of my younger daughter's university friends is visiting for a few days and she still likes the follow the eating tips that stopped people from dying of salmonella in the Middle East twelve hundred years ago. I therefore tried to buy some Halal meat in Sainsbury's today, but couldn't find any. I asked Customer Service, who checked with the in-store butcher, and was told that no, they don't do it.
I'm quite surprised at this revelation. Colchester isn't exactly a bastion of Islam, but I'd have thought there were enough practising Muslims at the university to justify a shelf or two of the stuff. Sainsbury's has a small section of foods from Poland that it put together for the benefit of homseick immigrants, so it's not as if they have a philosophical objection to over-charging anyone who has a minority dietary requirement. Maybe it's to do with having to use separate utensils for preparing Halal meat or something — not that you'd be able to tell the difference in a taste test afterwards.
Apparently, all lamb imported into the UK from New Zealand is Halal, it just doesn't say so on the label. I guess that this is in order not to offend people who object to either the method of slaughter, the blessing of the wrong deity, or the existence of Muslims.
Fortunately, my daughter's friend has a stash of Halal food in her fridge so can bring some with her. It's either that or she'll be eating fish.
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