Pizza Express will review halal policy on menus after campaigners say clearer labelling needed

The restaurant has exclusively used halal chicken for a number of years - yet does not say so on its menus

The restaurant chain Pizza Express is to review its menu policy for halal meat after campaigners called for greater clarity on the labelling of chicken produced through religious slaughter.

That Pizza Express has changed its supplier to provide exclusively halal chicken is not news, but the lack of clarity on its menus has raised concerns that customers are not being allowed to make an informed choice.

The restaurant said that it was “no secret” that all the chicken used in its dishes was halal slaughtered, adding that all birds are stunned before being killed.

Read more: What is halal meat? The big questions about religious slaughter answered

“Our chicken supplier is accredited by the British Retail Consortium,” the chain said on its website. “This means it meets the global standard for food safety and legality. Our chicken also meets the ‘5 freedoms on the farm’ initiative, endorsed by the RSPCA.”

However, the RSPCA itself has campaigned for more clarity on halal meat labelling, and told The Independent: “We believe that meat produced from animals stunned or not stunned before slaughter should be clearly labelled to allow consumer choice, and continue to press for changes in the law that would improve the welfare of all farm animals at the time of slaughter.

“Our concern has nothing to do with the expression of religious belief but with the practice of killing by throat cutting without pre-stunning.

Pizza Express said that all of the birds slaughtered for its chicken dishes were pre-stunned Pizza Express said that all of the birds slaughtered for its chicken dishes were pre-stunned “We are currently urging the public to sign the HM Government petition calling for an end to slaughter without pre-stunning. Non-stun slaughter can cause considerable suffering and we believe this practice should be banned once and for all.”

A report produced by the Farm Animal Welfare Council in 2009 said that chickens and turkeys were likely to be conscious for up to 20 seconds after having their throats cut, adding that “such an injury would result in significant pain and distress before insensibility supervenes”.

While people can find the details of Pizza Express’s policy in an FAQ on its website, customers in its branches can only find out by raising the issue with restaurant staff directly.

Today the restaurant chain said that it was going to look into taking steps to label its use of halal meat more clearly, including whether the information needs to go on its menus.

A spokesperson said: “At Pizza Express the quality and integrity of our ingredients remain our number one priority, and we have always been happy to provide information on our ingredients to our guests.”

Provided animals are stunned before slaughter, there is no practical difference in the way they are treated for halal and non-halal meat production.

But around 15 per cent of all halal slaughter in the UK is still done via the traditional method of slitting the animal’s throat while it remains conscious, making it hard to guarantee when eating halal meat that the animal was stunned beforehand.

Denmark banned halal and kosher slaughter without pre-stunning earlier this year Denmark banned halal and kosher slaughter without pre-stunning earlier this year Stephen Evans, of the National Secular Society, told The Sun: “Meat should be properly labelled, enabling consumers to make an informed choice about the food they’re buying.”

The news comes after the European Parliament voted by 559 to 54 for more detailed, compulsory labelling on all halal and kosher meat. Yet while the motion was backed in June 2010, it still awaits full adoption across Europe.

Earlier this year the Danish government banned the exemption on rules around pre-stunning for halal and kosher slaughter, in a move which was attacked in Denmark as “anti-Semitism” and “a clear interference in religious freedom”.

Defending the government’s decision to ban non-pre-stunned slaughter, food minister Dan Jørgensen said “animal rights come before religion”.

Click here to read the RSPCA’s petition calling for an end to slaughter without pre-stunning

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan stars as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie
filmFirst look at Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey trailor
News
Lars Ulrich of Metallica performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
music
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Sales, London

£70 - 95K OTE £125K. Plus Car,Private Healthcare and Pension: Charter Selectio...

Head of Sales, Milton Keynes

£70 - 90K OTE £125K. Plus Car,Private Healthcare and Pension: Charter Selectio...

Head of Sales, Bristol

£70 - 90K OTE £125K. Plus Car,Private Healthcare and Pension: Charter Selectio...

Head of Sales, Birmingham

£70 - 90K OTE £125K. Plus Car,Private Healthcare and Pension: Charter Selectio...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game