Is My Meal Really Halal When I Order Creekstone Beef?
While Muslims can now enjoy Creekstone Farms and available Halal in many high end restaurants, there is a little bit of unfamiliarity and not being in one’s comfort zone.
For many people the steaks and burgers they saw on restaurant menus were never permissible for their entire lives to eat. Now, all of a sudden, a few of them are made using Halal beef and can be prepared for you in a Halal way. A lifelong taboo has now been made completely accessible. It makes sense if people are hesitant; it’s almost too good to be true.
There’s also the reality that a restaurant may not understand everything there is about cross-contamination between Halal and non-Halal foods. This leads to a risk issues.
The key is in understanding your role as a Halal eater in seeking out Halal eating experiences. This basically comes down to two things.
1. Ordering your meal Halal using our Ordering Guide
While Creekstone Farms beef is Halal certified, the restaurants it is sold in are not. They serve pork and cook with alcohol, amongst other things. You need to order the beef in the right way. We have a guide on how to do this, and you should check it out before you hit up the restaurants you are interested in.
2. Doing your best in asking for accommodations to your needs
This involves some effort of effectively communicating to a restaurant of what you eat and don’t eat and making sure the items cooked into the dish are okay to eat, as well. As Shaykh Yasir Qadhi once taught about this issue in his class on Halal food and clothing, “you’re an American, act like one.” Make your voice heard and you will be accommodated. Not only do these places want your business, they have the liability of being sued if they don’t serve you right that will push them to really do what they say they’re doing.
3. Trust in your restaurant
After communicating your needs all you can do is leave it to the person taking your order, the cook preparing it, and the management accommodating it to make it happen. So long as you did your part, it should be fine, as numerous scholars have told me this is enough for it to be Halal.
Many of us regularly order fast food with this same effort and trust system. When we order a tuna or veggie sandwich at Subway, we ask for clean knives and trust they don’t pull any fast ones on us. When we dine at Olive Garden, we ask for no wine in your tomato sauce and trust they really leave it out. When we order pancakes and an omelet at IHOP, we ask them to cook on separate surfaces and trust they don’t cook it in the same skillets in which sausage and bacon were cooked.
Just as we ask and trust these other establishments, ask a restaurant that serves Creekstone to accommodate your needs. It’s the same thing.
Some of us aren’t used to ordering high-end beef this way, let alone even dining at fancy restaurants to begin with (many Muslims don’t bother if they don’t have Halal red meat or chicken). Again, I fully understand. But if we’re already doing that with so many other restaurants why can’t we do it with the ones that serve Creekstone?
Still iffy about this whole thing? Maybe you need to see it go from theory to reality. Check out this picture of a memo Chicago burger chain Epic Burger issued to all of its locations:
The article got so many people to call Epic Burger locations and ask for separate cooking surfaces it perked the company’s interest. They ended up issuing a letter to all locations explaining Halal and laying out a procedure for Muslim customers in order to accommodate a truly Halal eating experience. The letter even references Muslim Eater in it (let me put on my sunglasses, because, boy, do I feel cool!). After God, this is thanks to all the awesome Chicagoland Muslim Eater readers who politely asked Epic Burger locations to accommodate them.
This combo of Muslim patrons doing their best and Epic Burger responding so positively gives me assurance that you can eat Creekstone in a fully Halal manner. All it takes is a quick phone call ahead of time, and you can eat the Halal meal you deserve to eat.
[Top photo: Nick Solares/Serious Eats]