If there’s one thing that all Singaporeans take seriously, it’s food.
And it goes without saying for sure that there is a wide variety of food in Singapore wherever anyone goes, regardless of one’s dietary restrictions.
Of course, that’s under the assumption that stalls truthfully state what dietary restrictions they cater to.
However, it seems like one food stall at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has recently landed itself in hot soup for claiming that it serves Halal food when it actually doesn’t.
NTU Korean Cuisine Stall With “Halal” in Listing
On 1 June, Facebook user Tiara Nadrina took to the COMPLAINT SINGAPORE Facebook group to air her grievances regarding a recent experience she had with a food stall at NTU that claimed that they were Halal-certified.
KClove Korean Cuisine, the stall in question, was labelled as Halal on food delivery platform Deliveroo according to the screenshots that Tiara attached to her post.
According to the screenshots of her conversation with Deliveroo’s customer service agent, she had ordered food from that stall twice in the past and decided to do so again.
However, this time she decided to search for the stall on the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS)’s website.
The website includes the entire list of food and beverage (F&B) outlets in Singapore that are halal-certified.
To her horror, she realised that the stall was not included in the list.
She then filed a complaint with Deliveroo to ask if the stall was really halal-certified and added that she could not find any other proof to determine that the stall was indeed halal-certified.
Importance of F&B Establishments Being Halal-Certified
As most Singaporeans would know, “halal” means lawful or permissible in Arabic. Muslims can consume F&B products that are halal.
As for being halal-certified, F&B establishments must undergo specific audits and inspections in order to receive the certificates. The certificates usually expire after one to two years.
Currently, there are a total of seven different kinds of halal certifications issued by MUIS ranging from eating establishment schemes to food preparation area schemes.
Deliveroo Customer Service’s Response
Upon realising that KClove Korean Cuisine was actually not halal-certified, Tiara contacted the Deliveroo online customer service representative to check if the establishment was indicated as halal-certified in their records.
To that, the service agent explained that the stall’s display name included “halal”, but “they did not confirm that they are Halal certified”.
In response to the Deliveroo agent’s answer, Tiara wrote, “If they are not halal then why do they mislead people and put their company name as halal?! I ordered twice from them thinking that it is really halal… Please refund my money and get them to remove the word halal from their company name. This is absurd!!!”
Deliveroo then refunded her two previous orders which amounted to $45.40, and Tiara asked for Deliveroo to get the stall to remove the word “halal” from their display name since it would mislead consumers.
She also warned that if the term remained on the stall’s display name, she would report it to the authorities and boycott the company by telling all her friends and family to not use Deliveroo.
“I am new to this app and ordered twice, i will not use this app again to order,” she declared in her Facebook post.
She also emphasised that such an issue only surfaced with Deliveroo.
“At least on grab and food panda, it is not stated as halal for this company, but due to phobia will check on other companies too nevertheless,” she concluded.
Aftermath of Complaint
Since then, it appears that the word “halal” has been deleted from KClove Korean Cuisine’s page on Deliveroo. The term was also not seen on its foodpanda and GrabFood pages either.
Tiara also added an update to her Facebook post that shared the same information and she explained that she was only trying to create awareness.
According to AsiaOne, a representative from KClove Korean Cuisine explained via Facebook that it was a Deliveroo staff member who helped them set up their page to use Deliveroo’s services.
However, the representative added that the stall did not submit any form of halal certification, and that they did not know why they were labelled as a halal store on Deliveroo. The stall also mentioned that they are not labelled as halal stores on foodpanda or GrabFood.
The representative also shared that the stall has approached Deliveroo to help resolve the mislabelling issue, and highlighted that many customers contact the establishment through Facebook to check if it is halal-certified.
The stall confirmed that they have always told customers that they are not halal-certified.
After reading about Tiara’s experience, many users expressed that it was understandable for her to feel upset about the situation.
However, many also pointed out Tiara’s behaviour and tone that came off as aggressive and rude when she was speaking to the customer service agent.
With regards to that, Tiara left comments on Facebook to apologise for her actions.
“yes, i’m sorry for my tone of sentences to the customer service that night because by then we were already tired and hungry after work and by then the seller shop already closed. I could have phrased my sentences better. thank you for your feedback about that,” she wrote.
Deliveroo is aware of the incident and told Goody Feed this: “We take this extremely seriously and are investigating as a matter of urgency. Aside from processing a full refund to the customer, we have taken immediate action to remove the restaurant partner’s ‘Halal’ tag from our platform. We will continue to review our restaurant verification process to deliver the best possible experience for our customers.”
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Featured Image: Facebook (Tiara Nadrina)
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