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Macau has first restaurant with Muslim food certificate

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image Ms. Bela Fernandes, Manager of “Taste of India”

Muslims travelling to Macau are now able to enjoy genuine Muslim food as the “Taste of India” became the first local restaurant in the city to receive the Halal Certification. The Certification guarantees that all the food - as well as the transportation and preparations - are all strictly in line with Islamic Law. 
Taste of India, situated in the Fisherman’s Wharf in Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen near the Outer Ferry Terminal, yesterday formally announced they have successfully obtained the certificate, after three years of preparation to meet all the meticulous requirements imposed on every procedure, from purchasing to cooking and serving according to Islamic custom. 
Ms. Bela Fernandes, Manager of “Taste of India”, told MDT the certificate has a great deal of significance: “In the past the Muslims travelling here have many problems in finding a restaurant that strictly complies with Islamic standards. So many of them can only eat vegetables and fruits, because they don’t know where to find Halal food.”
“Halal” is an Arabic word meaning “lawful” or “permissible,” and applies to food and drink, alongside other matters of daily life. Muslims must ensure that all foods, particularly processed foods, pharmaceuticals, and non-food items like cosmetics, are also Halal, so the procedures required for Halal authentication and certification are long and complicated: “All the food we are serving are certified [as Halal food] and we’re doing the best we can do in Macau. We are the first restaurant to receive the Halal certificate after three years of efforts and serving of cuisines in this field,” said Ms. Fernandes.
Processed food products often contain animal by-products or other ingredients that are not permissible for Muslims to eat. Halal foods are foods that Muslims are allowed to eat under Islamic dietary guidelines. The criteria specify both what foods are allowed, and how the food must be prepared. The foods addressed are mostly types of meat/animal tissue. It is a well-known fact that Muslims don’t eat pork or drink alcohol, but lesser known is the fact that although chicken or beef is Halal, the regions’ followers also do not eat any animal that has been strangled, beaten to death, and nor do they consume or use any by-products made of such animals. To qualify for the Halal Certificate, the restaurants in question have to meet all conditions in the processing, transportation, preparing and serving procedures.
Indian restaurants have a great deal of experience in preparing Halal food due to the country’s large Muslim population. The Taste of India also introduced local elements to their restaurant: “In addition to Indian Halal, we are doing ‘Portuguese Halal,’ and our chefs are very experienced in the preparation of Muslim food - we don’t handle pork or other things not allowed by Islamic Law.”
As Macau develops into an international travel destination and leisure hub, an increase in the number of visitors from Muslim countries is expected in Macau, in addition to the substantial number of foreign workers. Many of these workers are of Islamic origin. As a result, a restaurant that specializes in Halal food has a reasonable chance of success in Macau.
“It’s not easy to find a restaurant with proper Muslim food in Macau,” said Arkun, a tourist in his twenties from Indonesia, who was visiting the city with three of his friends, “not to mention a Halal certified restaurant, so it’s good news for Muslim visitors.” He told MDT that before they found The Taste of India, they would have to keep on stressing that they were Muslims and reminding waiters not to serve dishes containing pork or its by-products when visiting local restaurants.

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