SINGAPORE — The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) has instructed halal certificate holders to immediately stop using and importing meat from an Australian abattoir, after discovering issues with its products.
Muis has found reasonable grounds to conclude that the halal integrity of meat from Thomas Foods International Lobethal (TFIL) abattoir has been compromised, its head of halal supply network Sharifuddin Mohamed Ali said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (31 May).
"Our decision is based on established facts and inputs from competent authorities, after conducting investigations with various parties involved," said Sharifuddin.
To ensure Singapore's supply of halal food is not impacted, Muis has contacted certificate holders who have been importing meat from TFIL to obtain alternative halal-compliant sources.
"Muis is highly committed to maintaining the integrity of the supply of halal food to the Singapore Muslim community, and will continue to provide updates and advice to the community in this respect," said Sharifuddin.
The comment by Muis comes about two weeks after its previous statement that it was checking on allegations against TFIL, following the suspension by Malaysian authorities of the company's slaughtering approval after it had reportedly breached slaughtering standard operating procedures, food safety, and halal requirements.
The allegations were based on video evidence and photographs, and corroborated by a witness, who was said to be a TFIL abattoir employee, Malaysian media reported.
Muis said then that it was working with the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) to ascertain relevant information on the abattoir from the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment.
Imports from TFIL, which is accredited by SFA to export meat to Singapore, had met food safety requirements.
Slaughtered and processed meat from TFIL is certified halal by the Supreme Islamic Council of Halal Meat in Australia (SICHMA), Muis added.
If investigations were to establish that there were serious lapses by SICHMA, Muis said it may decide not to renew SICHMA’s application to be a recognised foreign halal certification body.
Yahoo News Singapore has reached out to TFIL and SFA for comment.
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