McDonald’s has settled a class-action lawsuit alleging that the fast-food behemoth falsely advertised serving Islam-friendly food at Detroit franchises. In a preliminary deal, McDonald’s Corp. and the franchise owners will pay $700,000 to plaintiffs including Ahmed Ahmed, who said his local McDonald’s was not actually serving halal food despite claiming that it was.
Like Judaism with kosher food prep, Islam requires followers to adhere to certain dietary laws, such as giving up pork and only eating foods prepared in a certain way. Allowable food is known as halal, the Arabic word for “permissible.”
There are only two McDonald’s restaurants in the United States that serve halal meals, according to the Associated Press. Both are in the Dearborn Heights area of Detroit, which has a large Arab and Muslim community.
Dearborn Heights resident Ahmed said in the lawsuit that he bought a chicken sandwich from his local McDonald’s in September 2011, believing it to be halal (because that’s what the restaurant said). The Dearborn McDonald’s franchises get halal Chicken McNuggets and McChicken sandwiches from an approved halal food provider.
Ahmed’s attorney, Kassem Daklallah, said there was nothing wrong with the halal provider. However, “a source familiar with the inventory” at one of the franchises said employees frequently sold non-halal food as halal when they had run out of the latter.
Daklallah does not believe McDonald’s was intentionally deceitful, merely negligent. McDonald’s and Finley’s Management deny any liability but said it was in their best interest to settle.
Photo (top): Elite Daily