Despite increasing trends in obesity and other lifestyle diseases, demand for chicken meals are on the rise. According to McDonalds Arabia, imports of Halal chicken, to its 369 restaurants across the GCC region recorded more than 12,000 tons in 2012, an increase of 12.3 percent from the previous year.
Malaysia is the main exporter of high quality halal chicken to all McDonald’s restaurants in the region. Chickens are prepared through strict halal procedures daily, the information being revealed following a Kuwaiti delegation’s visit to observe the sophisticated systems that McDonald’s implies on suppliers in the preparation food. The delegation included the Kuwaiti Director of Commercial Fraud and accompanied by executives from McDonald’s. The trip included visits to Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM), an official Malaysian authority that supervises Halal procedures; the Mac Food factory; and two certified Halal slaughter houses, where chickens are prepared daily – under the supervision of JAKIM. Approximately 1,200 employees work at both slaughter houses, and are all holders of certificates provided by the authority.
“Ensuring that all ingredients and produce are halal is McDonald’s top priority,” said Yousif Abdulghani, the Managing Director of McDonald’s Middle East and Africa. “All products served at all McDonald’s restaurants in the Middle East are Halal, as they all ingredients are inspected and approved by local authorities and Halal officers at the countries of export and customs officials at the port of entry. Our customers can be assured that the food that they enjoy is halal and has the same world-famous taste.”
To qualify as a McDonald’s supplier, they must adhere to social responsibility policies on aspects concerning animal welfare, animal feed, as well as prohibition of deforestation and use of antibiotics as growth promoters and above all, Halal.