One of the challenges for any major international company in the F&B industry is adhering to the different cultural requirements of various countries. One such demand is the need for food in the Middle East to be of a high quality halal standard.
In line with the required standards and food safety guidelines of the Middle Eastern food industry, which can vary from country to country, McDonald’s UAE reaffirmed its commitment to meeting the requirements of all relevant authorities at the recent Dubai International Food Safety Conference.
Rafic Fakih, managing director and partner of McDonald's UAE said: "Our participation in the Dubai International Food Safety is a great way of discussing the development of halal practices in the country alongside other leaders of the industry. We firmly believe in the importance of serving halal inspected and locally approved products across all our stores in the UAE and hope to higher the standards year on year to serve the best products to our customers."
Organised by the Food Control Department of the Dubai Municipality, the recent conference involved keynote speakers covering a wide range of topics, including the challenges faced by multinationals within halal markets.
One such challenge is the lack of uniform regulation across the halal markets of the Middle East. This can often result in confusion and, in some cases, can lead to foods not meeting the required standards.
To try and overcome this, McDonald’s – as one of the leading food and beverage companies in the world – highlighted their aim to not only adhere to the guidelines of each regulating authority, but to strive towards further developing halal standards across the region.
The company said in a statement: “McDonald’s would like to reassure our customers that all products served in every restaurant in the Middle East are halal, inspected and approved by local authorities and halal officers at the countries of export and customs officials at the port of entry. Our products have the halal mark and are certified halal by local authorities.”
Commenting on McDonald’s role in the halal industry, head of the Food Monitoring Department, Khaled Sharief, said: "Due to their longstanding presence in the country, they understand the importance of continuously developing our food quality and halal standards. With the help of industry leaders such as McDonald's, we hope to further develop and efficiently facilitate halal practices in the UAE."