A halal meat option has officially been added to the menu of Chronic Taco in the Highlander Union Building (HUB). The decision comes in wake of a push from the UCR Muslim community who expressed that UCR dining needs more halal options.
In an interview with The Highlander, Strategic Marketing and Communications Manager Benjamin Eisenstein stated, “UCR has close to twenty student groups on campus representing up to 2,500 individuals that have expressed interest in supporting halal options. We hear the feedback and it’s important that we act upon it.”
The UCR Chronic Taco location currently only offers halal chicken, but there is still more being done for the addition of a variety of halal options on campus, stated Eisentein.
Halal meat is what is considered permissible to eat by Muslims. The Islamic form of slaughtering an animal is considered more humane and involves specific species of animals, as stated by Islamic Food & Nutrition Council of America. The species of animals are cattle, goats, sheep, camels and poultry.
Eisenstein added that their culinary team also offers halal chicken daily at their residential restaurants, Aberdeen-Inverness and Lothian, Savor and Sizzle at the Market at Glen Mor and additionally their dining services is planning to also add halal ground beef and halal beef tri tip.
According to Eisenstein, UCR Dining’s halal options are expected to meet Halal Transactions Incorporated’s inspection standards, a member of the Association of American Halal Certifiers. The food vendor renews their certificate annually upon meeting successful inspection from Halal Transactions Inc.
In an interview with The Highlander, Aisha Mansoor, a public policy graduate student stated that she often finds it difficult to find Halal options on campus, “When it comes to eating on campus I have to look for substitutes such as seafood or plant-based options. If I go to Subway, I get tuna or if I go to Panda Express I get tofu.”
Yusef Abd-Allah, third-year psychology major stated in an interview with The Highlander, “Even though the options are available there are certain circumstances in which they aren’t accessible such as Ramadan. It’s there, but it’s not the easiest of options.”
Eisenstein stated, “Halal was tested at Chronic Tacos during the 2018-19 school year and earlier this fall. It was added to the menu full-time this winter quarter.” Eisenstein added that Dining Services always strives to be as inclusive as possible in their menus.