Fast food giant KFC has admitted a ‘misunderstanding’ after a halal-only branch in Leicester refused to give a customer a hand wipe as it contained alcohol.
Graham Noakes was visiting the branch at St Georges retail park, where he asked for a wet wipe, but was refused as it contained alcohol and may offend the Muslim diners.
The staff said they are banned by the company in its halal stores as alcohol is prohibited in Islam. Other items from the normal menu are also unavailable at these branches.
It is believed that they were waiting for non-alcoholic lemon wipes to be in store.
Graham, a builder from Birmingham was working on the construction of a new Muslim Community Centre in Leicester.
‘Halal’ meaning permitted in Arabic, is usually in reference to food and meat and is what is allowed to be eaten by Muslims.
However a spokesperson for KFC branded it as a misunderstanding: “Our alcohol-based hand wipes are approved for use in all our restaurants, including those who are part of the halal trial. There was a misunderstanding at the store in question, but the wipes are now being used again. We’re sorry for the customer’s experience.”
Suleman Nagdi spokesperson for the Federation of Muslim Organisations, Leicester, describes this incident as a storm in a teacup. “I think it has been blown out of proportion, of course I’m sure that the intention of KFC may have been honourable, but unfortunately the circumstances as such, may mean that the public may come to realise and think that it is a demand made by the Muslim community so unfortunately its the Muslim community that get the backlash”
“In relation to just using wipes, the story is ridiculous, people have an option of just using soap and water”
Members of the public that spoke to Pukaar News said, “Id like to know whether any actual Muslims complained about it, or just someone decided lets just do it”
“Its a normal thing in medical practice, for example you’d use alcohol as a cleansing agent, I think in hand wipes its probably a little bit extreme to feel that that’s going to upset people”
“I think they should give it, if someone asks for it, everybody can use what ever they want according to their belief”