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Behind the obsession with ‘halal trolleys'

COMMENT I can understand if Muslims worry about accidentally consuming or even touching pork.

Dietary restrictions are not a prerogative of the faithful, let alone Muslims. A housemate of mine in the UK, a Palestinian by birth, was an atheist and staunch vegan. He would check the ingredient label of every product he consumes and refused to drink certain types of beers because animal products are used in the processing.

To the policy of having separate ‘halal’ and ‘non-halal trolleys’ - already implemented by NSK hypermarket; studied by the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry to make it a legal requirement; and cheered on by the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) and the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM), my first response is to ascertain the likelihood of porcine contamination through the use of supermarket trolleys.

I believe this would be useful for Muslims to judge if such measures are necessary. After all, most Muslims wouldn’t have the experience of visiting the non-halal section in a supermarket.

I went to a multinational hypermarket in Kuala Lumpur to buy pork ribs, deliberately using an ‘unfortunate’ trolley.

Below is my journey - or the poor trolley’s encounter with pork - in pictures...

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