KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Idris Ahmad said authorities are gathering evidence on Thomas Foods International (TFI) Lobethal abattoir in Australia that allegedly breached slaughtering standard operating procedures (SOPs), food safety and halal requirements.
New Straits Times (NST) reported Idris as saying only 18 per cent of imported beef comes from TFI.
He said the government would not compromise on halal requirements.
“There are 16 abattoirs, of which 15 are operational. The company exports about 18 per cent to us.
“If we were to follow what was exposed it would be likely more than that. But according to the facts provided by our attaché there, it is 18 per cent,” he was quoted as saying.
The Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM), Pertubuhan Kemasyarakatan Rakyat (Pekemas), and Sahabat 99 had raised allegations of SOP violation by TFI, which was approved by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) to export beef to the country.
Pekemas president Faizan Mo hd Nor told NST that the alleged SOP breaches were based on video evidence and photographs, and corroborated by a witness, said to be a TFI abattoir employee.
Following the allegations, Jakim suspended TFI's slaughtering approval until the results of a probe were obtained.
Idris also said that he was unsure about supplies that had arrived prior to the suspension.
He said Jakim was tracking the informant, known only as The Hood Man, who had tipped off PPIM.
He urged the informant to cooperate with Jakim so that verified's formation could be directly obtained instead of from a second party.
“According to the information there was an officer who managed to contact him and said that he would call us back, but we have not heard from him.
“The informant is said to be a Somalian and we want complete information from him,” he was quoted saying.