The interwebs are in an uproar over the halal certification application for pretzel food chain Auntie Anne’s.
According to a Facebook post by Auntie Anne’s Malaysia quality assurance and halal executive Farhatul Kamilah Mohamed Sazali, the application was denied by the Department of Islamic Advancement of Malaysia (JAKIM) because of a food item named “Pretzel Dog”.
In the post, Farhatul Kamilah stated that JAKIM felt that “Pretzel Dog” should be changed to a more “appropriate name”, and she has suggested a few name changes but the results are still pending. After the new name is approved, all of the menu boards will have to be edited to reflect the change. Subsequently, she will have to submit a new application to JAKIM and hope for the best.
However, she explained that the “Pretzel Dog” was not the sole issue for the rejected application, as JAKIM has asked them to apply for a halal certificate for their Central Kitchen (CK) before the halal cert for the individuals outlets can be issued.
The executive also applied for halal certs for all 45 Auntie Anne’s outlets under one application, but was told by JAKIM that the application has to be done by area zones to ease the auditing process.
Farhatul concluded the post by assuring the public that Auntie Anne’s Malaysia has passed the 1st round of inspections and has paid the fee required. They’re now waiting for the auditing process from JAKIM and will work hard to obtain an official halal certificate.
When talking to Channel NewsAsia, JAKIM’s Halal Hub director Sirajuddin Suhaimee confirmed that “Pretzel Dog” was indeed one of the reason for the rejection of the application, as the panel “could not consider the word dog because it referred to the animal”. He continued, “It is better if they can use ‘Pretzel Sausage’ instead.”