Staff, angry passenger debate over ‘Halal tea’, Railways issues clarification

  • The passenger questioning the railway staff as to what halal-certified tea is and why it was being served during the month of sawan.

Edited By Saurav Mukherjee
Updated22 Jul 2023, 07:19 PM IST
Representative image
Representative image

Heated exchanges between staff and passengers often go viral, which several times are popped out of the simple issue.

Recently, the video of an official of the Indian railways and a passenger exchanging a heated debate over being served halal-certified tea became viral.

In the video, the passenger can be seen questioning the railway staff as to what halal-certified tea is and why it was being served during the month of Sawan. Though the staff maintained saying that tea is in any case vegetarian.

"Month of Sawan is going. And you are giving us halal-certified tea?" HT quoted a video where the passenger asked the railway official.

Examining the sachet, the officer asked, "What is that?". "You know, you explain what halal-certified is. We should know it. We know ISI certificate, explain what is a halal certificate," the passenger said.

"This is masala tea premix. Let me explain. This is 100% vegetarian," the railways staff said. "But what is halal certified? I will have to do puja after this." the passenger said. "Are you making a video?This is 100% vegeterian. Chai veg hi hota hai, sir," the railways staff said.

"I don't want any religious certification. Please keep these sentiments in mind. Put swastik certificate then," the passenger said. "Okay, will keep that in mind," the staff said.

Following the video was uploaded on social media, people raised questions why a tea premix needs halal certification. Some users praised the patience of the railways official who did not lose his calm and explained to the passenger that tea is by default vegetarian.

Indian Railways clarification:

Meanwhile, Indian Railways issued  a clarification, stating that products used in tea being served in trains are purely vegetarian and of international standards. 

“Ministry of Railways reassures passengers over the products used in tea being served in trains are purely vegetarian and of international standards. Some sections in media have reported that some export quality tea is being served by IRCTC which has many certificates like FSSAI, ISO, GMP, FDA , Hallal etc. But it is being highlighted by some media section as it is only Hallal certified,” the railways statement said. 

“Ministry of Railways clarifies and reassures passengers that the product used is of international standards and hence the manufacturer ensures all compliances, both domestic and the targeted countries for export purposes,” it added. 

Railways said, "The mentioned brand premix tea has the mandatory FSSAI Certification. The product is 100% vegetarian with mandatory "Green Dot" indication. All products have lab reports, indicating 100% vegetarian composition. All ingredients are natural and milk powder and 100% plant based ingredients are used to make tea and coffee premixes. Further, as per the manufacturer, the product is also exported to other Countries which mandates for such certification."

Halal certification?

First introduced in 1974 for slaughtered meat and till 1993 it was applied only to meat products, Halal certification was extended to other food items and also cosmetics, medicines etc.

As per Arabic, halal means permissible and halal-certified refers to food prepared adhering to Islamic law. It refers to the meat of an animal which has been slaughtered through the throat, oesophagus, and jugular veins but not the spinal cord.

Earlier in 2022, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a complete ban on halal certification. The plea said that the fundamental rights of 85 percent citizens were being infringed because of the 15 percent of the population.

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First Published:22 Jul 2023, 07:19 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaStaff, angry passenger debate over ‘Halal tea’, Railways issues clarification

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