For food products to be billed as halal, they have to be prepared according to strict Islamic dietary laws. The criteria specifies which foods are allowed (pork, for example, is forbidden) as well as how the food must be prepared. If God’s name isn’t invoked before an animal is slaughtered, no dice. McDonald’s has two franchises in the country that sell halal products, and both are in Dearborn, Michigan, home to one of the nation’s largest Arab and Muslim communities. But Ahmed Ahmed, a special McChicken sandwich detective, discovered that one of the Dearborn locations wasn’t complying with Islamic dietary laws.
This McDonald’s franchise gets its products from an approved halal chicken provider, but when it ran out, it start substituting non-halal products and figured nobody would notice. (Are McNuggets made out of actual chicken? That’s a whole other debate.) Ahmed’s investigation paid off; McDonald’s has settled out of court for $700,000. The money will be shared by Ahmed, a Detroit health clinic, and the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn. That’s chump change for McDonald’s, but hopefully it’s enough for Ahmed to get himself some chicken that’s actually halal — and not made from pink slime. [AP]