Ireland – Kosher consumers suffered a double blow this week when a major abattoir in Ireland closed its kosher facility and a second in the north of England temporarily suspended operations.
Rory Fanning, managing director of Slaney Foods, in County Wexford, which supplies the London Board for Shechita (LBS), said: “We have made the decision not to have religious slaughter.”
He said the decision was prompted by media stories that halal meat was being used without the knowledge of the public by some McDonald’s restaurants. McDonald’s denied this as it was against its policy to use religiously slaughtered meat.
But the company checked its suppliers and was forced into a u-turn, admitting that one abattoir had used halal meat for some chicken products.
A spokesman said all suppliers were asked to “reiterate that their meat was not slaughtered in that way”. One of them was Slaney, which had worked with McDonald’s for eight years, predating its relationship with kosher meat.
Suddenly, at the end of last week Slaney announced its decision to end religious slaughter. Rumours, since denied, were rife in London, where most of Slaney’s meat was delivered, that McDonald’s had given it an ultimatum to stop the kosher part of its business or risk losing it as a customer.
Slaney’s managing director Rory Fanning said: “It’s not that we are doing it because someone was influencing us outside the company. We made the decision ourselves.
“There has been a lot of media coverage of ritual slaughter, and it was in the context of that, that the decision was made. I’m not saying it’s the right decision. I am very hesitant.”
Mr Fanning conceded that there had been no discussion with the LBS before Slaney announced its decision to stop allowing shechitah at its abattoir.
McDonald’s said: “While kosher meat is outside McDonald’s UK specification, we understand the importance of it to some customers as well as UK and Irish agriculture.
“If Slaney has stopped producing kosher meat as a result of our non-specification then there has been a misunderstanding. Our supply chain is in discussion with the Slaney abattoir to ensure they can continue to produce kosher meat separately to their production of traceable, non-kosher meat for McDonald’s UK.”
A spokesman for the LBS said: “We are very concerned and we are monitoring the situation on a daily basis.”
He said that Dayan Yisroel Lichtenstein, of the Federation of Synagogues’ Beth Din, had gone to Europe to find alternative supplies. “There will not be a shortage of meat in the UK, ” he added.
But Jacky Lipowicz, chair of the Kosher Licensed Butchers’ Association, said: “Shechitah is under threat once again. The constant harassment of shechitah has led to this situation. ”
The English abbatoir which shut down its shechitah operations was in Oldham.
J&B Fitton, which supplies eight kosher licensees, mainly in London, stopped processing animals over a technical fault. Director Mark Fitton said meat production had since resumed.
He said: “We’ve done all the lamb as normal and actually did a bit extra. Some people will be short of beef, but the shortfall will be made up by Friday.”
Staff at Menachem’s butcher’s shop in Golders Green said ordinary beef stocks had halved due to halted deliveries. One said: “We’ve got two batmitzvahs to do this week and I’ve got nothing to cook or prepare.”
Edgware butcher Elaine Mann said her beef reserve ran out after the High Holy Days, but added: “We are trying to buy
Money talks and I can’t fault the company for not wanting to lose McDonald’s business which, I am sure, is more profitable to them than the kosher business is.
However, the plant must be poorly run if they can’t manage to keep the kosher/halal meat separated from the treif. This might make me wonder if everything stamped “kosher” actually is.
Reb Chaim Ozer, OB”M says when NIKUR is not done in a proper all encompassing manner, eventually Shechita becomes challenged.
#2 Yudel, good point. You are so right here.
My father a”h was one of the biggest mumchim on nikur in the London area quite some number of years ago.
#5 Liepa, and so?
theyre gonna lose a lot of money
All kosher schita is done in a facility that also does non-kosher. About 50 to 70 % of shechted meat turns out to be unacceptable. that meat gets processed and sold as non-kosher. Also, the entire rear portion of the animal gets sold as non-kosher. If non-kosher consumers start being picky about the source of their meat, like they are in Europe and Australia, then that will be the end of kosher shchita. At that point the only option will be to partner with the muslims. There are ways to make shechted meat that is rejected acceptable for Halhal. They muslims will be sure to take advantage of that situatuon and the cost of meat will go up considerably.
Shatz Matz, in Australia? Where did you get that from?
About bloody time too. One little step in the right direction, we just need Britain to start labelling there halal products and to stop deceiving the public and I will be happy..Though to be quite honest I just wish they’d ban it alltogether we live in the 21st century now and I’m sue no God would want an animal to suffer unnecessarily.
Number 10 if you know what goes on in non kosher shechted meat houses you would only eat kosher. The second thing is the Jews reject what has a question on it will you will eat it. Number 11 in many american community the moslem by from kosher market because halal is not available
I’d like to say this is a bad outcome but if it results in kosher meat becoming more expensive and less easily obtained, that will be a good outcome in the long-term. Yidden eat too much meat and it is a major contributing factor to the silent epidemic of obesity, heart disease, diabetes etc. While chulent made with tofu and vegetables may take some getting used to, it will save lives and most importantly, there is no chiyuv to eat meat. There will still be kosher meat available but hopefully this is the Ebeshter’s way of getting his yidden to eat less meat and transition to a more healthy diet.
This is not unique to meat; I have some cheese in my refrigerator that has an OU and a halal certification.
We became vegetarians about 2 years ago and we have not regretted it. Many great rabbis have been vegetarians.