FIANZ makes peace with Nando’s over mechanical slaughter

FIANZ makes peace with Nando’s

Halal controversy resolved

prolonged controversy over the Halal products used by Nando’s
restaurants in New Zealand ended last week with the Wellington based
Federation of Islamic Associations in New Zealand (FIANZ) agreeing to
reinstate its Halal Certification to the restaurant chain.

joint statement issued by Federation President Dr Anwar Ghani and
Nando’s New Zealand Manager Shailen Ramjee said the issue had been
amicable solved and that the former was satisfied that the restaurant
brand “complied with the prescribed Halal standard as of September 9,

issue was dogged by ‘technical complexity’ and the understanding of
what constituted Halal and what did not, but the statement indicated
that both parties had understood the implications and wanted to put the
controversy behind them.

Ramjee praised FIANZ executives and the members of their Ulama Board
for their “tireless efforts to assist the Plymouth plant of Tegel (a
New Zealand company).”

“This is the first Tegel plant now complying with the Mechanical Halal standards approved by FIANZ,” he said.

He said the experience was a learning curve for all parties involved including suppliers, Nando’s and the Federation. He praised the FIANZ Ulama Board of its “tireless efforts which ensured that the interest of the community was supreme.

“We extend a warm welcome to our Muslim customers to enjoy the taste of Nando’s ‘Grilled Peri Peri Chicken,” he said.

Expanding network

resolution of the problem, which was moving into a crisis mode, would
have come as a great sigh of relief for Nando’s New Zealand, which is
keen to expand its restaurant network and benefit from the increasing
customer preference for some of its specialised items.

competition is rife in the restaurant and takeaway sector, the
proliferation of shopping malls and food courts throughout the country
has given a fillip to international brands and chains like Nando’s.

its modest beginning in December 2000 with one branch in Glenfield
Auckland, Nando’s New Zealand has witnessed continuous expansion and
today accounts for 27 restaurants spread across the country.

a variety of chicken – trimmed, grilled and marinated and burger pitas
to grilled chicken salad – the culinary delights that are unique to
Nando’s came alive.

restaurant, including the latest at Mt Wellington (71 Lunn Avenue)
boasts of personalised service, exuberant ambience and great food that
no one minded the minutes ticking away.

“It is all about taste,” Mr Ramjee says, quoting the company’s signoff. “All
Nando’s restaurants follow the tradition of extending the customer a
warm and relaxed feeling with the natural textures and timbers used.”

Unique Peri Peri

Portuguese explorers came into contact with African people who
introduced them to  a little treasure called the African Bird’s Eye
Chilli. Whether
this fiery little chilli was indigenous to Africa or introduced was not
certain, but it is certain that the rich and fertile climates were
perfect for the Bird’s Eye chilli to grow with wild abandon.

African people called this fiery little chilli, Pili-Pili. The
explorers tried in vain to pronounce Pili-Pili but ended up with their
own version called Peri-Peri and to this day the Bird’s Eye Chilli is
still known as Peri-Peri.

The settlers immediately ‘ex-peri-peri-mented’ with Peri-Peri in their cooking and made it an integral part of their lives.


Ed: Having determined that the issue in question was cerneing mechanical slaughter, we have added the following statement from FIANZ from their October 2007 newsletter that clarifies their position of mechanical slaughter of poultry.

From the FIANZ Newsletter October 07


In August 2003, the FIANZ Ulama Board after carefully observing the procedure concluded that the process of Mechanical Slaughter  can be accepted as “Halal” provided the following conditions are fulfilled:


  • The machine should be manually operated by Halal slaughtermen.
  • The processing speed should be maintained at such level, so the Halal slaughterman can easily say the prayer on each chicken.
  • The electric knife must be sharp.
  • For each chicken the slaughterman must press the button and must say the Tasmiah (Bismillahi Allahu
  • Akbar) at the time of pressing the button.
  • It is the throat that is cut ensuring the severance of the esophagus and jugular veins.

There should always be two Muslim slaughtermen, one on the mechanical knife and the other one to inspect each chicken and to make sure that it has been slaughtered properly. He should slaughter manually any chicken that is missed by the mechanical knife, provided that the chicken is alive. If it is dead, then it must be declared non- Halal and should be removed from the chain and put aside.

In case if the current speed increases, then more Halal slaughtermen are required to be able to manually check and slaughter the chicken missed by the mechanical knife operated by the first Halal slaughterman.


Electrical stunning of poultry is allowed using water bath stunners only, and it should only be head stunner. The voltage of stunner should be monitored frequently to make sure that the voltage continuously remains on the required level. High voltage may cause death of the chicken, and the slaughtering then will become meaningless.

These are very basic requirements which must be fulfilled during the slaughter, failure to do so will result in non-Halal product.

The Ulama Board would like to take a cautious step as this issue has been controversial among contemporary scholars. It would like to advise that manual slaughter is preferable as this is the safest and the most satisfying method.