Tell a Muslim about “tainted” pots and pans?

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    I work at a restaurant that serves various types of foods, including beef, chicken, fish, and eggs. All of the fried items are fried in the same pans. If I notice that someone is of a religion that cannot eat a particular food, should I advise that customer of how we cook our food, or should I assume that the customer already knows and have him purchase the food? For example, should I advise an Islamic customer who orders rice and vegetables that these were cooked with beef?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Teresa28591, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 21, City : Gurnee, State : IL Country : United States, Occupation : student, Education level : 2 Years of College, 


    Thanks for your sensitivity to different cultural/religious food practices. So, here’s a few pointers and then an answer: First, ‘Islam’ is the religion. ‘Muslim’ is the person. To say a person is ‘Islamic’ is incorrect, just like saying a person is ‘Christianic’ is incorrect. So stick with the word ‘Muslim’ for the person. Second, observant Muslims are allowed to eat beef, but they are not allowed to eat pork. Observant Jews are also allowed to eat beef, but not pork. Observant Hindus, on the other hand, are allowed to eat pork, but not beef. Confusing, huh?! Thirdly, both observant Jews and Muslims must have the beef (or other meat) prepared in a particular way (killed with compassion, etc.) in order for it to be acceptable to eat. The Jews use the word ‘kosher’ (you may be familiar with that word) for acceptable food; the Muslims use the word ‘halal.’ And finally, the key word here is ‘observant.’ If the person is observant, I doubt that they would even enter a restaurant that did not say ‘Kosher’ or ‘Halal’ in large letters on the windows. So if a Muslim is in your restaurant, and the word ‘Halal’ is not on your window, I would assume he/she knows full well what you are serving, and is comfortable eating it. If you like, you might have a note in your menu stating that the food is not halal or kosher, but I don’t think it would be appropriate to ‘warn’ someone from a tradition different from yours that your food is not acceptable to them.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Laurie, Gender : Female, Age : 56, City : Boston, State : MA Country : United States, 


    I believe it is a patron’s responsibility to ask about such things. If they are seriously worried about such issues, they should be informed consumers. If they are really worried about the possibility of such things, they will avoid restaurants where it could be a problem. I working in a restaurant myself; don’t worry about this unless the question is asked by the customer

    User Detail :  

    Name : JaredW., Gender : Male, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 26, City : Robesonia, State : PA Country : United States, Occupation : Cook, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Middle class, 
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