Monday, 1 November 2010

Tesco reluctant to refund Christian woman who unknowingly bought halal lamb - Asda and Tesco responds to emails

As a follow on to my article on halal meat in our supermarkets I have received the following replies from two more top stores...

Thank you for contacting me regarding Halal meat at the Sutton-in-Ashfield store.

I would like to reassure you that Asda takes the issue of animal welfare extremely seriously, and employs a highly skilled team of technical product managers and factory inspectors to ensure our welfare polices are always adhered to by our suppliers.

Our company policy is to insist that any animal slaughtered for use in any Asda branded product is always stunned prior to its slaughter, rendering them unconscious and insensitive to pain.

All products, both halal and standard, sold under the Asda brand must adhere to this strict animal welfare policy.

I can also assure you that the labelling of products in all areas of our store meet our legal obligations.

Kind Regards

Rachel Eddon
ASDA Service Team
Tel: 0844 481 5000


Firstly, I would like to apologise for the delay in replying to your email. We do try to respond to our customers' emails in a timely manner and I'm sorry that this has not happened on this occasion.

Thank you for contacting us regarding the sale of Halal meat in our stores.

I would like to reassure you that we require all slaughter processes in our supply chain, including Halal, to meet our stringent animal welfare requirements. In every case, the animal is stunned before slaughter so that it is insensible and feels no pain.

We are aware of the RSPCA's concerns with regards to animals slaughtered under the Halal ritual being sufficiently stunned. We take animal welfare very seriously and that is why we audit all of our slaughter houses to ensure that the stunning process is effective and that the animal feels no pain.

Like all other major UK supermarkets, we source from suppliers who serve Muslim as well as non-Muslim customers. Some of these suppliers process all their meat to Halal standards. For example, all New Zealand lamb meets Halal standards. In these cases, all of our processes still meet the same stringent animal welfare requirements and all animals are stunned prior to slaughter whether the meat is sold as Halal or non-Halal.

All fresh meat we sell is not Halal, except for lamb and chicken and of those ranges we can absolutely assure you that if you buy British organic lamb and chicken as well as the Willow Farm and Finest Free Range lines, these will not be Halal either.

I would also like to advise you that all of our pre-packed Halal meats are labelled as Halal, and any fresh Halal meats are served on the specialised Deli counters that we have in some of our stores that are situated in and around highly populated Muslim areas.

We like to give all of our customers a choice of what meat they would like to buy, and I can assure you that all our food labels are controlled by government legislation and EU regulations. We would never do anything to intentionally upset any of our customers.

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. I hope that the above information is helpful.

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us at

Kind Regards

Joan Duncan
Customer Service Manager
Tesco Customer Service
You can watch a video on halal slaughter HERE

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