Muis clarifies McDonald's Singapore 'halal-only birthday cakes' claim

Muis has refuted reports that quoted McDonald's Singapore as saying that only halal birthday cakes are allowed on its premises.
Muis has refuted reports that quoted McDonald's Singapore as saying that only halal birthday cakes are allowed on its premises. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) in a media statement on Tuesday (Jan 10) clarified that it adopts a flexible approach for the consumption of outside food in halal-certified restaurants, after reports quoted McDonald's Singapore as saying that only halal birthday cakes are allowed on its premises.

Instead, customers can eat food that is not from the halal-certified restaurant in certain cases, such as with birthday cakes and baby food, Muis said.

Restaurants that have halal certification may exercise discretion in such cases, as long as they adhere to the following criteria:

- There is no cross-contamination and the item is not brought into the kitchen, food preparation area or storage facilities.

- Only disposable cutlery is used for the outside food.

- The food item is consumed and any remnants bagged and disposed of immediately.

Muis said McDonald's Singapore had not consulted it before making its media statement on Jan 5.

It added that it has since contacted McDonald's Singapore, and "appreciates McDonald's Singapore's approach in only allowing halal-certified birthday cakes in its restaurants".

 Mr Faz Hussen, director of government relations and communications at McDonald's Singapore, told ST on Tuesday that McDonald's Singapore is "fully committed to the conditions and principles of the Singapore Halal Quality Management System (HalMQ) in ensuring that the food we serve is suitable for consumption for our Muslim friends".

This includes ensuring that there is no cross-contamination and that outside food is not brought into the kitchen, food preparation area or storage facilities, he said.