Popular grocery store Food Lover's Market has apologised to the Muslim Judicial Council after falsely advertising one of its Cape Town stores as "strictly halaal".
The outlet had come under fire for stocking pork at its in-store cheese counter.
The apology comes after the Muslim Judicial Council Halaal Trust (MJCHT) issued a statement on Thursday, saying the Access Park store in Kenilworth, Cape Town had incorrectly called themselves strictly halaal in their weekly brochure.
"The Access Park store is/was never fully halaal certified. While the MJC Halaal Trust only certified the butchery section, it decided to suspend its certificate as a precautionary measure to eliminate any chances of possible cross contamination."
The MJCHT added: "It is our reasonable expectation that Food Lover's Market apologises to the Muslim community for the misleading advertisement."
Compliance with halaal standards
In a statement, the store apologised "to the Islamic community shopping at Access Park".
The statement reads: "Food Lover's Market has asked the MJCHT to cleanse the area where pork was being displayed – this was in an area separate to the butchery."
Simon Parker, the Head of Butcheries for the Food Lover's Market Group said they welcomed "the comment and guidance from the MJCHT, who has decided to temporarily suspend the Halaal certification".
"The certificate will be reinstated as soon as the MJCHT is satisfied that compliance to MJCHT's halaal standards and operating procedures are being met," Parker said.
In their statement, Food Lover's Market added that all references to Access Park being a fully certified halaal store would be removed from marketing materials and online platforms pending re-certification.
"Once this is in place, Food Lover's Market will be mindful only to advertise the departments within the store that is halaal certified."