PETALING JAYA: A tweet by a Malaysian has confirmed that Auntie Anne’s has complied with the requirement to change the name of one of its food items, “pretzel dog” to “pretzel sausage”.
Twitter user Chrisanne Chin posted this afternoon, “Auntie Anne’s franchise in #Malaysia has officially changed its Pretzel Dog to Pretzel Sausage. #halal #nodogs”, accompanied with a photo of the new menu item listed above the counter of one of its outlets.
This was later confirmed by the local franchise operator for US fast food chain Auntie Anne’s.
“We have already changed the name (pretzel dog) to ‘pretzel sausage’ to comply with Malaysia’s halal certification requirements,” a company executive told Malay Mail Online today.
The last official word on the status of Auntie Anne’s halal status was mentioned in a statement the company had posted on its Facebook page on Oct 31.
“With the recent news circulating on our halal status, we would like to assure our loyal customers and friends that all our ingredients are purchased from Jakim-certified halal suppliers.
“With full respect for the good name of Malaysian halal certification together with all the Malaysian halal standards and manual procedures for Malaysian halal certification, we will fulfil all the requirements towards our Malaysian halal certified status,” the statement read.
It was first reported on Oct 17 that Jakim had denied Auntie Anne’s halal certification for several reasons, including a request to change the name of one of its food items, the “pretzel dog”.
However, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom later denied Jakim had rejected Auntie Anne’s halal certification just because a product’s name was not in line with the department’s guidelines.
“If (an establishment) wants to protect a name, compromises can be made in that sense as well,” he said.
This contradicted checks by FMT that revealed a guideline issued by Jakim in 2014 that said halal certification would not be given for products with names it considered inappropriate and “confusing”, including “turkey ham”, “beef bacon”, “root beer” and “hot dog”.
Jamil said at the time that there still could be “compromises” in Auntie Anne’s case, adding that Jakim had yet to reject the company’s application for halal status at its 45 outlets.
“For Auntie Anne’s, it wasn’t a rejection, it was just a proposal,” Jamil said. --FMT