A labelling system error had pork labelled as Halal at a Pick n Pay Hypermarket in Ottery, Cape Town. The Muslim Judicial Council investigating the matter confirmed that the problem was with a system that is controlled by the Pick n Pay Head Office.
However, the branch was responsible for a product being incorrectly identified as containing non-Halaal meat.
Social media was flowing with a number of posts and tweets sharing the picture of a packet of russians and chips certified by the council as containing 49 percent pork.
The council’s Achmat Sedick said, “It’s the codification of the labeling system and it’s controlled by Pick n Pay head office in Johannesburg. So I have asked them to delete it from the system because then the problem won’t reoccur again.”
This has been the case also in 2012 when Pick n Pay also made this error. In 2012, Imraahn Ismail-Mukaddam, the Western Cape co-ordinator of the national consumer forum, said there should be one body which regulated halaal certification. There are seven across the country, all with their own certification versions.
He said the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) should not rely on automatic labelling machines, but instead halaal stickers should be placed on meat goods separately.
A panel at the time found the MJC’s certification process fraught with problems – the most glaring being under-trained and ill-informed inspectors. The organisation also did not have a comprehensive manual.
The review panel said that while the MJC Halaal Trust had a number of substantive measures in place, there was room for improvement.
Sedick said they had immediately started implementing the panel’s recommendations.
Source: Muslim Judicial Council, Pick n Pay