Aldi has apologised to consumers after boxes of its frozen Oakhurst turkey crowns had been mislabelled as halal-accredited.
An Aldi customer, Pip Singh, contacted the discounter earlier in December, putting up a photograph of a cardboard box of Oakhurst turkey crowns together with the term ‘halal’ written on the side on its Facebook page. Aldi’s initial response to Pip was to DENY that they sold any Halal meat and to declare the matter closed without offering any investigation into why the outer box clearly said “HALAL” in Pip’s photo.
It sparked a chain of comments on the Facebook page from other Aldi customers, who were concerned that the turkey was halal.
One Facebook member, Ray Hall, asked: “Can anyone tell me if this halal meat story is true, this will put me off shopping there for good!”
Ever since, numerous customers have posted their concerns about the matter on here, but Aldi just keep rattling out the same copy-and-paste response: “we are looking into the matter”. Exactly why is that taking so long? Isn’t there any urgency attached to it? Are Aldi waiting until they’ve sold all the stock (and it’s been consumed over Xmas) until they admit the truth?
Another, Sarah Chapman, asked: “I’ve got an Oakhurst stuffed turkey crown in my freezer. Is this halal, because if so you can have it back.”
Mr Singh also commented while he shared the photograph: “Aldi it’s your responsibility to label your foods for public consumption for their dietary or allergy and some even faith. I’ve shopped with you for 5 years and overall impressed with produce. However today I’m totally disgusted to find out that your Christmas turkey’s branded under British Oakhurst labelling for the majority to consume for Christmas. I do not consume Halal produce as I disagree with the manner of slaughter and it’s forbidden for myself. So why is it acceptable for Aldi not to inform it’s consumers that they are being offered Halal Turkeys for a faith that don’t even celebrate Christmas. A few may but how does that justify Aldi not to label the turkey correctly? You are misguiding your consumers who may have a desire of NOT to consume slaughtered and prayed on turkey.”
“I’m living in England and not a Islamic country, cater for everyone and not just one faith. This is not acceptable and your fooling all your shoppers, you may choose to delete this but I’m taking this to trading standards as if I’ve been eating by your miss labelling I will be taking action as you’ve offended my beliefs or does that not matter because Aldi only looks to please Halal eaters only,” added Mr Singh.
Aldi shared with The Grocer: “We have now investigated this matter with our supplier, who has advised us that the outer casing was incorrectly labelled as halal-certified. This did not affect the product packaging and the supplier has since given us written confirmation that the animals had not been subject to ritual slaughters.”
Aldi apologised to shoppers for any confusion caused by the “unfortunate and isolated matter” and said that customers who were not satisfied could return their purchase to a store for a full refund.
It added: “Aldi does not label any products as halal-certified and, as a responsible retailer, it is committed to ensuring that the animals used in its products are reared and slaughtered to relevant industry standards covering animal welfare.
Shoppers were also concerned because the country of origin on the boxes of frozen Oakhurst turkey crowns was Chile whereas Aldi advertises that all of its fresh meat is 100% British.
Aldi told The Grocer: “All of Aldi’s core range of everyday fresh meat is 100% British, Red Tractor-approved and is clearly labelled with all relevant accreditations. Where frozen meat products, such as the Oakhurst Turkey Crown, are not from the UK, the country of origin is clearly labelled.