Hotdogs set for name change in Muslim Malaysia
FOOD outlets in Muslim majority Malaysia must rename hotdogs or risk being refused halal certification.
The ruling, which also includes other food items whose name includes the word “dog”, has garnered much ridicule on social media.
It follows complaints by Muslim tourists from overseas, said Sirajuddin Suhaimee, director of the halal division from the Department of Islamic Development.
“Any [halal] products that make consumers confused we have to change,” he said.
“In Islam, dogs are considered unclean and the name cannot be related to halal certification.”
Numerous street vendors and halal restaurants sell hotdogs in Malaysia. Mr Sirajuddin said checks would be made “step-by-step” when these outlets renew their twoyear halal certification with the department.
US pretzel chain Auntie Anne’s, which has 45 outlets in Malaysia, said it has no qualms about renaming its pretzel dogs – sausages wrapped with pretzels.
“It’s a minor issue. We are fine with changing the name,” said Farhatul Kamilah Mohamed Sazali, an executive at Auntie Anne’s Malaysia.
Under the concept of halal – meaning “permissible” in Arabic – pork and its by-products, alcohol and animals not slaughtered according to Islamic procedures are all haram or forbidden.
Malaysia has long practised a moderate form of Islam but conservative attitudes are on the rise.