The subject of Halal meat has been a vexatious issue for many years and there have been many instances whereby this product has been incorrectly labelled. In 2010, the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued, at a cost of £1.2 million, its official guidance on the meat and chicken used in an attempt to prevent incorrect labelling.

In addition, the Halal Food Authority, a voluntary organisation launched in 1994, has its own unique system of identifying Halal meat from Non-Halal meat by tagging soon after slaughter at the slaughterhouse. 

One company that takes this quality very seriously is Halal Kitchen Limited. Operations director Firoz Patel explains, “Our roots are in a company called Express Cuisine, launched in 1999. However, in 2009, Halal Kitchen took over the Express Cuisine brand and today offers food under the two brands – Halal Kitchen and Express Cuisine.Our whole ethos is based around true Non Stunned Halal meat and Poultry products.

In the UK there are around 3.5 million people who want this type of products and since our inception we only use Halal non stunned meat & poultry in all our products,  this is possible because we do not use any other kind of meat and poultry in our products. We were the first UK mainstream company to offer True Authentic Halal sandwiches, wraps, baguettes, pasta salads, ready meals and smoothies (Lassi). Because of this ethos, we are approved by the Halal Food Authority and are also STS accredited.” 

The company makes all its products in a dedicated factory unit in Prestwich, Manchester, where it employs 42 people. The responsibility for food quality and new recipes and products is in the hands of technical director and general manager Kazim Raza. He says, “I have a totally committed team of chefs who work closely with me to ensure product quality and to enable me to develop new products. Already our products are establishing themselves as a popular choice at lunchtimes across North West and we have recently won two awards here in the north-west – Best Beverage of The Year in both 2010 and 2011 for our smoothies – from the North West Foods Association.” 

The company has won a high reputation among its customers, selling to Asda, Morrisons, Spar, Tates, Cost-cutter and Martin McCall’s. Its products can be found on the shelves in airports from Birmingham to Liverpool and Manchester and in more than 20 universities and colleges. Deliveries are also made, using the company’s 14 refrigerated vehicles, to more than 1000 retail convenience shops and garage forecourts on a thrice-weekly basis in the whole of North West and Birmingham area. The company has a chilled depot in Birmingham; from there it distributes to over 300 retail outlets.

Firoz adds, “The educational market is a big one for us and more and more educational establishments are taking our products for their students’ Halal requirements but we are also looking to develop new products for the supermarkets. – Asda for example currently takes four types of sandwiches, two wraps and a ready meal (chicken biryani).

Currently we mainly serve the North West of England and part of Midland but we are actively looking for new distributors or partners to enable us to open up markets in London and the South East as well as into Scotland. Longer term, we are seeking to enter the European markets and we are talking to the distributers in Germany, France and The Netherlands about the best way to penetrate these markets.

We have built our turnover to around £2.5 million but we believe that we can grow this substantially through maintaining our quality, widening our range of products and by entering new markets.”
For further information please telephone

0161 773 7788

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