Muslim man, 20, traumatized by mislabeled pork roll

From the Telegraph & Argus (UK)

By Kathie Griffiths

Devout Muslim Shamrez Razaq was horrified after biting into a savoury supermarket snack he thought was cheese and onion but turned out to be pork.

The 20-year-old from Girlington said he had to snatch another roll from the same Morrisons' pack from his eight-year-old brother's mouth.

Disgusted Mr Razaq, who had bought the pastry rolls from Morrisons' Ingleby Road store on Monday for his family's tea, said it made him feel sick.

They had been clearly labelled as cheese and onion and suitable for vegetarians. Eating pork is forbidden for practicing Muslims.

This man nearly ate pork.

This man nearly ate pork.

Mr Razaq said: "For centuries my ancestors have not eaten pork. I can't believe this has happened. I have never, never touched anything like that. It was a bad mistake of Morrisons' especially to make in the Girlington area which has such a huge Muslim population. It's unforgivable.

"We regularly buy the cheese pastries from there so we never expected it to be pork. Why should we? It just shouldn't happen. They have to be extra careful. The rolls were their own brand, baked and packed by them. They are completely to blame. The pork and the cheese rolls look exactly the same, you can't tell the difference from the outside. The only difference is the label and it was wrong. My little brother didn't realize at first so I had to snatch it out of his mouth, he's really upset about what he's eaten."

Mr Razaq, who said he would now have to get rid of the contaminated plates they were using to eat the pork-filled pastries, said he took the offending food and original packaging back to the store straightaway and asked to speak to the manager.

"He apologised and gave me a refund, a few more pounds than I'd paid which felt like a pay off. I was really disappointed at the lack of customer service. It didn't seem to sink in with them the enormity of what their mistake meant to us. I wasn't bothered about getting money back. I wanted to know they would be doing everything they possibly can to find out how it happened and to make sure this doesn't happen again. I got the feeling he thought he could give me a refund and I'd go away and forget about it but I won't ever.

"It might have happened to other Muslim families as well as us who were misled by Morrisons into thinking they were buying non-pork. How can we trust them again?"

A spokesman for the supermarket giant said: “At Morrisons, we are very aware that for various reasons our customers may wish to avoid certain foods for personal beliefs, and therefore we take the correct labelling of these very seriously indeed.

"We were very sorry to learn that the customer was sold an incorrectly labelled product, and have offered our sincerest apologies. We will ensure extra vigilance with regard to the correct labelling of these products, and will closely monitor it to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

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