FAST food giant Subway has come under fire for removing ham and bacon from outlets, and switching to halal meat alternatives at stores across the country, including East Lancashire.
This week people have taken to Twitter calling for a boycott of the chain, and protests have been organised for this weekend outside outlets nationwide.
But a spokeswoman for the company said the menu had not changed, and stores had been able to open as halal franchises since 2007, due to customer demand.
Turkey ham and turkey rashers are being used instead of pork products in 185 stores nationwide, where all meat is prepared according to halal rules.
Four stores in East Lancashire currently serve halal meat: Texaco Service Station in Nelson, Blackburn Beehive Service Station, the Blakey Moor store in Blackburn town centre, and Blackburn Total Garage.
In the past, police have had to intervene after right-wing groups organised protests outside KFC shops in East Lancashire when they started to serve halal meat.
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Abdul Hamid Qureshi, chairman of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, welcomed the Muslim-friendly move by Subway, but said the comp- any’s policy of stunning animals first meant the meat could not, in fact, be considered halal.
He said: “We will welcome any halal, but they provide stunned meat and we don’t buy into stunned meat. We don’t consider that as halal.
“We welcome the development but we would like them to consider proper halal.”
A Subway spokeswoman for Subway said: “Due to the growing popularity of the Subway chain, with the diverse multicultural population across the UK and Ireland, we put a programme in place in 2007 to ensure that the population demographic is taken into account when new store openings are considered in order that we meet consumer demand in each location.
“All our suppliers comply with EU animal welfare legislation and we require suppliers of Halal products to adopt the stunning of animals prior to slaughter.
“Locations of Halal stores can be found at www.subway.com.”