Australian Lamb is Halal! Costco, Giant, Safeway, Stop & Shop and others sell it

So I got an email which linked to this blog post here on the WorkHalal.com blog saying Costco sells Halal lamb. At first, I didn’t believe it, because for some reason whenever I see emails/blog-posts without sourcing to any website makes it seem shady. So I consulted my Shaykh (Sh. Google) and he gave me wonderful responses, mashaAllah! I found the Australian Lamb Company‘s website and I contacted them myself. I received two responses from two different people:

The first person was Peter Gilligan who said:

Having been to Australia I will share with you my observations.

First of all, the lamb is treated very humanely during the entire process. The slaughter floor itself has an arrow painted on the ground pointing toward Mecca. When the lamb reaches the Muslim slaughter man it is presented to Allah, a prayer is recited and with a single cut with a very sharp knife the lamb is then bled. I am of the understanding that at this point the lamb is considered Halal slaughter.

Should you need further information I am available to you.

Kind regards,

Peter

Here is the second email from Marybeth Laleman who said:

Hello Sir,

I can only speak for the lamb produced and imported by the Australian Lamb
Company Inc (USA) and LTD (Canada). The largest retailer of Australian Lamb
in the US and Canada is Costco Wholesale.

The Australian Lamb Company Inc/LTD is the producer and importer of the
Kirkland Signature brand of lamb for Costco Wholesale. All of the lamb
produced for Costco is halal.

The lambs are handled in a humane manner, are presented towards Mecca to
Allah as a prayer is recited by a Muslim slaughter man who ensures only a
single cut with a very sharp knife is used. Subsequently, the product is
certified Halal. You can consume lamb purchased at Costco with confidence is
its meeting the halal standard.

The master cartons that Costco receives do have an MS (Muslim Slaughter)
legend on them with the accrediting authority noted. The individual packages
do not carry a MS legend, but they will in the future. Further over site is
ensured by AQUIS, the Australian Government equivalent to the USDA.

The following was copied then pasted from the www.Australian-lamb.com website.

Halal Slaughter

The Muslim consumer market is very important to the Australian meat
industry. Australia has a Government Supervised Muslim Slaughter System
(AGSMS) which ensures high quality product that is strictly Halal (“lawful”
in Arabic). Australia is recognized as a world leader in Halal meat
production. For its success, the AGSMS relies heavily upon the involvement
and expertise of various Islamic organizations. These organizations are
licensed to supervise, inspect and certify all Halal meat and meat products
by the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS).

Halal meat must have a program which complies 100 percent with AGSMS
guidelines. All Halal meat processing facilities must submit to regular
AGSMS inspections:

Processors may only employ registered Muslim slaughter men. Haram
(“unlawful”) meat may not be processed in the same area as Halal product
Halal and non-Halal product must be adequately separated and identified at
all times Equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and washed if non-Halal meat
has been in contact Only genuine Halal products may be issued a Halal
certificate and only by recognized Islamic organizations.

Hopefully this answers most of your questions.
Thank you very much for your patronage.

Marybeth Laleman
Australian Lamb Company

Now the question is why do they have to point it towards Mecca? All I know is that you simply just slaughter the animal with a sharp knife at the neck killing it instantly without any pain and suffering. Maybe they were confused when the butchers faced Mecca to pray.

Well anyways upon visiting another Austrialian Lamb website here, I came across the “Halal Slaughter” text, Marybeth was talking about (Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find it).

They also had a list of vendors in the United States that sold it and most of the common ones I recognized in NY and MD (since I claim both states as home now) were Costco, Giant, Safeway and Stop & Shop.  The full list can be found here.  Here is a list of all the Halal exporters of meat from Australia.

26 Replies to “Australian Lamb is Halal! Costco, Giant, Safeway, Stop & Shop and others sell it”

  1. Alhamdulillah.

    How hard is it for US folks to get halal meat in cities with a significant Muslim population? I was lead to believe that it was quite difficult, but the situation may be different now (especially with this recent news).

    In the UK, Muslim populated cities (e.g., London, Leicester, Manchester, Brum, Preston, Blackburn, etc etc) have a good number of local Muslim butchers. In recent months, major supermarket chains are even stocking halal meat, and frozen food products in certain stores.

    I have always had easy access to halal meat via these avenues, alhamdulillah. I didn’t realise how much of a blessing this truely is, until I travelled to a couple of mainland European destinations – I am glad I only stayed a few days, cos I couldn’t survive on a purely veggy diet for long (plus how ‘veggy’ the meals were in certain establishments, I am not sure, subhanallah).

  2. let’s not take away the livelihoods of muslim owned businesses unless we really feel the need to do so…

  3. only problem is that….after the halal Australian Lamb meat comes to local market (S&S in my case), they cut it into small pieces using the same blade or knife that they also use to cut pork and other meat… 🙁

  4. great point iBO. this should be investigated someone who is willing to do so and bring it up with the people.

    i kind of also agree with anon. i also think believing hands should handle meat – otherwise barakah is kind of drained. wallahu a’lam

  5. @anon, @iBO, @Yaser – I agree that we should support Muslim-owned halal meat stores, but you have to remember that the majority of the Muslim American population buys haram meat from supermarkets and are located quite far from halal meat stores. This is a major issue for many people. Also non-Muslims also handle the halal meat that is found in Muslim-owned halal meat stores. I’ve been to one halal meat store in Long Island, NY and Rockville, MD and both of them were Muslim-owned but had Latino’s cutting the meat. Another aspect is that although the meat is halal, many halal stores will probably fail city and state inspections due to their uncleanliness. Corporate supermarkets are much cleaner. Although I have seen a few halal meat stores that are very clean, like the one in Rockville, MD.

  6. COSTCO is awesome! Ive always loved costco and try to get everything from there!

    And compared to most other retail stores/supermarkets/etc. – costco ranks at or near the best in terms of wage/benefits for its employees, environmental issues, etc.

    And yaser- barakah drained by meat by having non-muslims hold it – hmm… that sounds shady. Kosher meat has to be always handled only by Jews – but Halal meat has no such restrictions. I also believe that there is greater barakah in food from animals raised in a healthy environment, given healthy food, cut via the zabihah method, and even barakah in the preparation of the food by a loved family member, etc. – i doubt ur losing much barakah by having a non-muslim cut it into pieces or pack it onto a bag 😛

  7. Salaam,

    MHO, more outfits selling halal meat the better it is for the greater muslim community. Most muslims I know (not including my family) eat Supermarket meat as previously stated.

    One other factor to consider is the price of the meat. If price is comparable to non-zabiha meat that make it even sweeter because it creates choice for the muslim consumer/public to choose from.

    So to sum up, Halal meat at a local supermarket at a comparable price = two thumbs up!!!

    Brothers/Sisters/IT
    We are not Jews so don’t bring in the whole non-muslims touching it. Please if you want to get that picking, please open up your own farm and become a slaughtermen/slaughterwomen. Be reasonable in everything you do. Islam is reasonable! Once again just MHO 🙂

    Wa salaam,
    PM@work

  8. AARB,
    As per MHO, I would add to say that if we do not support such things, then they would discontinue such commodoties as it is simply supply-demand. On the other hand we could very soon have lot more Halal commodities in the US market/stores.

    Wassalam,
    Naveed

  9. Just don’t worry about it. As long as they are treating the animals well, everything is fine. All that stuff about mecca and such is claptrap from the medieval days. We live in today’s world, not yesterday’s.

  10. @Mark – I want to make it clear that facing Mecca has nothing to do with slaughtering an animal to make it halal. Muslims face Mecca when they pray. Thank you.

  11. I’m from MD…which halal meat in rockville are you referring too? We have a lot in the area.

  12. I believe the baraka can be damaged by any rotteness anywhere along the line – and that includes muslim butchers having a bad day, but we need to already be internally stronger than that..

    I remember the days when tofu and organic food were not sold in “regular” stores, and people who wanted them were just nutcases. Being recognized as a “market” is good for muslims in general.

    And as good members of the community we should be in support of all of our local small businesses – whatever religion, in the best ways that we can.

  13. Oh yes, sorry. I also meant to say.: we are cautioned in our religion not to make any restrictions that are not already there. So, while an arrow certainly isn’t a requirement, any muslim in a large complex might need to know which way was Mecca – so he/she can make prayerful preparations.

  14. Say Alhamdulillah,

    Allah has given another GOOD opp’ty to spread Islam in the West. Take this opp’ty to spread Islam. This way we can do DAWA to non-muslims.
    Many in Americans don’t know about HALAL and this way we can explain them why we eat Halal food and why we don’t eat HARAM food.

    Allah hu Akbar
    IshaQ

  15. @Seeker – I’m still new to the MD area. I’ll be honest, in terms of available halal food (espcially halal fried chicken), NY is much better. NY is better than most states anyway. It’s the Halal Meat store on Rockville Pike. I was introduced to it by my relatives down there. It’s near the Sadaf restaurant.

  16. The Executive Director
    Halal Meat Industry
    Australia
    Request for appointment against 2% quota as a Butcher (Slaughter) reserved for disable person.

    Dear Sir,

    With due respect, it is stated that I am a young man of 34 years from Pabbi Nowshera Pakistan and have done Master Degree in Islamic Education. But unfortunately I cannot hear properly, witch rendered me in a disable category. I also registered with Social Welfare Council Peshawar and posses PCRDP form III.
    I belong to a butcher’s family therefore I learnt my beloved profession the slaughtering of animals according to the Islamic principals with his father after gaining the Master Degree in 2000. Meanwhile the government gave me a chance to serve in a government commission National Commission for Human Development NCHD as a Markaz Coordinator MC from July 2006 to July 2008. But the new government stopped the fund to the commission and become gratis.
    Now I am working with his father as a butcher (Slaughter) but according to my disability and entrust I want to see the butcher world especially halal butchers and learnt more about NVQ Level 3 Experience in Australia. Therefore decided to join a butcher industry as a halal butcher (Slaughter). Contrarily there are a lot of respect as well as job opportunities for disable people in the most civilized society of Australia.
    Forgoing in view your esteemed honor would be kind enough to consider my request congenially and provide me an opportunity to serve your Department in the above position and thanking you in advance.

    Yours Sincerely

    Farid Ullah Shah
    Village & P/O Pabbi Nowshera NWFP Pakistan
    Contact # +92 923 201362 +92 321 9755708
    Email: huzafa74@yahoo.com

  17. but brothers u r forgetting one think when you go to muslim brothers store their meat is almost expired and smelly but kirkland produckt at costco is fresh and even looks tasty and you know what it si halal as read at the top of the page

  18. Feel free to check out our website. We provide 100% Halal Fresh and Frozen Lamb directly from Australia..We bring containers into the USA and ship around the nation…
    Legs
    Shanks
    Carcass
    Loins
    Rack
    You name it, Linnane can deliver

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