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Two Michigan McDonald's take halal foods off the menu

June 24, 2013 at 4:08 PM
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DETROIT, June 24 (UPI) -- The two U.S. McDonald's restaurants that sold halal foods, both of them in Michigan, have taken those items off their menus, the company said.

The Detroit Free Press reported Monday only two U.S. McDonald's outlets offered halal foods, which is food prepared according to Muslim religious standards, including having a prayer said while an animal is being cut.

In 2011, a customer from Dearborn Heights, Ahmed Ahmed sued McDonald's for selling non-halal food as halal food. In some cases, employees could not tell the difference and sold non-halal items as halal, the newspaper said.

McDonald's lost the case and was ordered in April to pay $700,000 in damages, $25,000 of which went to Ahmed and the rest to two Muslim community groups and to attorney fees.

The settlement did not say McDonald's had to stop selling halal foods. However, one of the restaurants now bears signs on their menus in Arabic and English that say the halal offerings have been stopped.

"These items have been discontinued as a result of our continued efforts to focus on our national core menu," a company spokesman said.

In 2000, about 65 percent of Chicken McNugget sales at the Michigan Avenue McDonald's outlet in Detroit were halal.

The attorney who filed the case against McDonald's, Kassem Dakhlallah, said it was "disappointing" the restaurant had stopped selling halal foods.

However, he said if the products sold as halal could not be guaranteed to be halal, "then ceasing to offer of halal products was probably the best decision."

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