It is a given that in the Malaysian food and beverage market, you need a halal certificate for you to sell.
Thus, an absence of such a license could lead to some horrendous public relations issues. Unfortunately for the sector, the licensing comes under the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim).
Today, news came out of the blogosphere that Auntie Anne’s Malaysia was non-halal. Well expecting a PR blitz from the conservative Muslim population, they issued a post on their Facebook page.
In their explanation, the Quality Analysis (QA) executive explains that a halal license has been applied for all 45 branches of the franchise and it needed to instead certify the central kitchens instead of the individual products.
She adds that these require auditing by zones and will take time, a similar situation that happened with Japanese franchise Sushi King here as well.
However, it was her third point that got me wondering just how ridiculous Jakim can get.
“The name ‘pretzel dog’ needs to be changed to something more suitable,” she says.
Awkward. Jakim has a problem with food names which have the word ‘dog’?
Does A&W face similar issues with its coney dog? What about Ayamas and its hot dogs piled up in supermarket freezers?