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Moslem Meal Or Halal Meal

Halal Digest Header JULY 2003
ISSN 1533-3361
In This Issue
Moslem Meal Or Halal Meal Food News Halal Food Conference 2003

ASSALAAMU ALAIKUM WA RAHMATULLAH
Alhamdulillah was-salatu was-salaamu 'ala rasoolillah. All thanks and praise is to ALLAH, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, and we ask that HIS blessings and peace be upon HIS Messenger, Muhammad, salla ALLAHu alaihi wa sallam. Fortune Cookie
MOSLEM MEAL OR HALAL MEAL
Airline Meal Codes, Moslem Meal While airlines are reducing meal and snack service, they still offer a number of special meals for passengers with various dietary needs. Among the offerings are Moslem or Muslim meals, bland meals, diabetic meals, gluten free meals, low sodium meals, seafood meals, vegetarian meals, Hindu meals and Kosher meals. Not all airlines offer all these meal choices. For example, America West does not offer a Muslim meal. What is a Moslem meal?

Most US airlines specify a Muslim meal as one that does not contain products derived from pork, such as bacon and sausage; alcohol; eel or animal fats. Allowed items are fresh fruits; fresh vegetables; yogurt; nuts; rice; corn; pasta; eggs; herb and spices; cheese and dairy products and beans. If available, meat and poultry slaughtered according to specific Halal methods. For some reason, Continental Airlines goes on to say that special rules apply during the month of Ramadan when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset.

(We should note that most yogurts contain gelatin and since most of the commercially available gelatin is not Halal, yogurt containing gelatin is not likely to be suitable for a Halal consumer. There may also be some question about the enzymes used in any cheese products.)

For the most part, the definition seems acceptable but how does it match the practice? I recently traveled on flights where meals were served and ordered Muslim meals. With the exception of one flight on which I was served chicken and rice, the other flights offered me a very spicy mixed bean, corn and rice meal. Coincidentally, this also qualifies as a Hindu meal! (See the sample dinner recipe below.)

Halal Steak Dinner So what should a Moslem or Muslim meal be? First of all, the meals should be referred to as Halal meals, not Muslim meals. The dietary standard is Halal, not Muslim. Non-Muslims as well as Muslims consume halal meals. And the meals should not be confined to one ethnic type. A Halal meal should be made with Halal certified ingredients. It should contain Halal meat, poultry or fish; fresh vegetables; rice or other grain; should not be over-spiced but just seasoned to taste; should include a Halal dessert; Halal bread; and a Halal salad with dressing on the side, etc. It should be sealed in a way to prevent contamination during handling and serving. In other words, it can look like the regular meal service on the flight, except it should be made with Halal certified ingredients and it should contain a statement to that effect. And it should be available on all flights where a meal is served.

The current list of Muslim meals may be a great advance from a decade ago but it still falls short of the proper selection for Halal meals. Muslims should continue to request Halal meals and insist on a proper quality and variety of meals. And by all means, provide feedback so the airlines have information to improve their offerings.

Here is a sample of the Moslem and Hindu meals from one airline:

Moslem Meals (MOML)
NOTE: All food items listed are examples of menus that fit the dietary requirements of each meal category. Actual food items served may be different.

Dinner (First or Business Class) - White bean and risotto mix or Bulgar wheat and rice melange or Jasmine rice with red bell pepper coulis, margarine and fruit, may also include salad with dressing and cookie.

Dinner (International First Class) - Fettuccini Ratatouille, roll, margarine, salad with dressing and cookie.

Dinner (Coach Class) - White bean and risotto mix or Bulgar wheat and rice melange or Jasmine rice with red bell pepper coulis, margarine and fruit

(Note the absence of meat, poultry and fish.)

Hindu Meals (HNML)
NOTE: All food items listed are examples of menus that fit the dietary requirements of each meal category. Actual food items served may be different.

Dinner (First or Business Class) - White bean and risotto mix or Bulgar wheat and rice melange or Jasmine rice with red bell pepper coulis, margarine and fruit, may also include salad with dressing and cookie.

Dinner (International First Class) Fettuccini Ratatouille, roll, margarine, salad with dressing and cookie.

Dinner (Coach Class) - White bean and risotto mix or Bulgar wheat and rice melange or Jasmine rice with red bell pepper coulis, margarine and fruit.

(Note the similarity of the two meals.) Fortune Cookie


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FOOD NEWS
Halal Food Conference 2003 comng to Chicago on July 11, 2003 Halal Food Conference 2003 is coming to the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois, USA on July 11, 2003. The Theme for the all day conference will be THE IMPORTANCE OF HALAL CERTIFICATION. There will also be a Community Banquet at 7:00 PM at the Cotillion Banquets in Palatine. For the complete program, click here.
Newspaper The State of Texas passes a Halal Food Bill. Governor Rick Perry signed HB-470 into law on June 20, 2003. The Muslim community in Texas worked together to get the bill introduced and passed with bi-partisan support. The bill protects Halal consumers from intentional mislabeling of Halal foods. Congratulations to the Texas Muslim community, the Governor Perry and the Legislature for taking this important step to protect consumers from fraud. (Reported by the American Muslim Council.)
Newspaper Snickers is coming out with Snickers Marathon, an energy bar. It is based on the original Snickers bar, with added vitamins, minerals and protein. The energy bar market is a $600 million industry. (Reported in the Dallas Fort Worth Star Telegram on June 22, 2003.)
Newspaper The Wrigley Chewing Gum Company has obtained a patent on a chewing gum containing the active ingredient in viagra. However, the Pfizer patent does not expire until 2011, so it will be a while before they would be able to market such a product. "Double your pleasure" and "kiss a little longer" may take on a whole new meaning! (Reported on www.yahoo.com on June 14, 2003.)Fortune Cookie

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HALAL FOOD CONFERENCE 2003
Selenium It is back to to the home turf in Chicago for this year’s conference. Under the theme Bringing Industry And Community Together, IFANCA will hold Halal Food Conference 2003 at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago on July 11. As you have become accustomed to expect, this conference will bring speakers from the US and around the world to discuss the benefits of Halal food production and the experiences of industry in producing Halal food.

In the Islamic tradition, the conference will kick off with a recitation from the Noble Quran by IFANCA’s Religious Advisor, Dr. Jaafar Al Quaderi, followed by the welcoming address by IFANCA’s President, Dr. Muhammad M. Chaudry.

Dr. Joe Regenstein, Professor of Food Science at Cornell University will give the opening address and then the conference sessions will begin. You will hear about IFANCA’s Halal Supervision and Certification Program, the Certification and Commitment of the peoples of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore and the experience of Industry from people associated with each activity. For good measure, there will be a session on Food Safety by Dr. Ata Baroudi of the Food Safety Institute in Newport Beach, California and some closing remarks by the world-renowned speaker and Director of IFANCA, Dr. Ahmad H. Sakr.

The Conference will adjourn and reconvene at 7:00 pm for the Community Banquet at The Cotillion Banquets in Palatine, Illinois. The speakers and invited guests will mingle, enjoy a Halal meal and listen to Scott C. Alexander, PhD, Associate Professor of Islam and Director, Catholic-Muslim Studies at the Chicago Theological Union in Chicago as he speaks about Peace, We Talk About It! A Christian and Muslim Perspective. It promises to be an exciting and informative Conference. We look forward to seeing you all there. Click here for more information on the program. Fortune Cookie


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