Thursday, October 20, 2016
KUALA LUMPUR: Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said it is “not a criteria” for pretzel store franchise Auntie Anne’s to change the name of its 'Pretzel Dog' to 'Pretzel Sausage' in order to receive a halal certification.
Jamil Khir, who is the minister in charge of Islamic affairs, said there was never an issue with the food name, particularly the term 'hot dog' which is used to describe sausage-based food products.
He said the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) is focusing on the content of the food, and not the name.
Jamil Khir said the issue had been blown out of proportion after it went viral on social media.
This, he said, led to Jakim being portrayed as making a big mistake.
“Jakim had no intention to ban the use of well-established food terms which had been used all this while such as 'cucur kodok', 'tahi itik' and 'cakar ayam'.
“Nevertheless, the name of the food should reflect societal norms and the people’s perception and sensitivity should be taken into consideration.
“There had been precedents; Batang Berjuntai was renamed to Bestari Jaya and Pantai Cinta Berahi was renamed to Pantai Cahaya Bulan,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.
He said Jakim is still in discussion with the Auntie Anne’s management on the latter’s application for halal certification.
He gave his assurance that the application would not be denied just because of the food name, and neither would Jakim revoke existing halal certifications for others due to the name of the food.
Jamil Khir added that the halal certification is voluntary and not compulsory on the part of the food operator. - NST