McDonald’s has taken halal items — food prepared according to Islamic guidelines —off the menu at its US restaurants.
For the past 12 years, the fast food chain has sold halal food — Chicken McNuggets and McChicken sandwiches — at just two restaurants, both located in Dearborn, Mich., a city with a high percentage of Muslims. More than 40 percent of Dearborn residents are Arab-American, according to the New York Daily News.
In April, McDonald’s settled a lawsuit brought by a Dearborn Heights, Mich., man, Ahmed Ahmed, who charged that the restaurant on Ford Road had passed off non-halal chicken as halal on several occasions.
McDonald’s did not admit wrongdoing, but settled the suit with a $700,000 payout —$275,000 for the Huda Clinic, a Muslim health center in Detroit; $150,000 for the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn; $25,000 for Ahmed; and $250,000 to cover legal fees.
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The settlement did not mention ceasing halal food sales, and McDonald’s did not mention the lawsuit when announcing the menu change.
Kassem Dakhlallah, the attorney who filed the lawsuit, told the Detroit Free Press that the end of halal options at McDonald’s is “disappointing,” but if the company couldn’t guarantee its products were halal, “then ceasing to offer halal products was probably the best decision.”
“The items have been discontinued as a result of our continued efforts to focus on our national core menu,” a spokesman for McDonald’s explained in a statement, according to the Detroit Free Press.