The following is based on a press release from Orange County District Attorney.
Anaheim market to pay hefty fine for false halal advertising
The consumer protection laws, designed to protect halal consumers, have been languishing in the back burner and long forgotten until last year when the Muslim Observer raised the issue in a series of articles. It appears that it is having an effect. In what can be termed as a landmark case the Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) has obtained a $527,000 civil settlement from Super King Market in Anaheim for falsely advertising and selling generic meat as Halal meat. The settlement was signed today, Nov. 21, 2011, by the Honorable David McEachen. Super King Market has multiple locations in Southern California, but this settlement is exclusive to the Anaheim location.
Halal is a term used to designate meat that has been butchered in a specific manner and slaughtered in the name of Allah, the Islamic name for God, making it permissible to eat in accordance with Islamic law.
The Anaheim Super King Market ordered and received various meats in their market, which was subsequently advertised as Halal. The defendant did not employ proper procedures to ensure the meat was indeed Halal, as advertised.
The OCDA began an investigation in 2010 after an inspection by the Orange County Health Department revealed that various meats were being delivered to the store without being clearly marked or labeled. Super King Market was also selling all meat from a display case indicating that the contents were Halal, but the contents were actually co-mingled in the walk-in freezer and refrigerator with various other generic meats that were delivered to the store.
The settlement did not require the defendant to admit fault or liability. Super King Market agreed to strict injunctive terms to prevent any future unfair or deceptive business practices. Super King Market is permanently enjoined from purchasing any meat without assuring its content is clearly designated on the invoice, packaging and box. Halal meats must be properly segregated from other meats. They are required to ensure every meat product in an area designated as Halal by a sign, placard or similar advertisement is actually of such nature.
This law is protects customers from deceptive and harmful business practices and also prevents the defendant from gaining an unfair advantage over legitimate businesses that spend time and resources ensuring that their products are properly purchased, labeled, and sold.
Deputy District Attorney Michelle Cipolletti from the Consumer Fraud Unit prosecuted this case.