Our last blog post, was about accommodating customers with food allergies, but do you know what to do if your customer has a religious restriction that limits how food is prepared and what they can eat?
Hindu Dietary Restrictions… Depending on where your restaurant is located, you may have many Hindu customers or very few. Regardless of how many Hindu customers you have, understanding their dietary restrictions shows a level of respect for their religion.
- No meat… Vegetarianism is encouraged in Hindu, but not required. Their belief is that one must have respect and compassion for all humans and animals.
- If they consume meat… Consumption of beef is strictly prohibited as the cow is considered sacred to them. Chicken and lamb are two acceptable meat options for non-vegetarian Hindus.
Jewish Dietary Restrictions… Preparing a Kosher meal means that the meal has been made following Jewish dietary laws.
- No mixing meat and dairy… It is against Jewish dietary laws to mix meat and dairy and if a utensil was used to prepare or serve meat, it may not be used for dairy products. (The opposite is also prohibited) Separate pots, pans, bowls, plates and eating utensils should also be used when serving meat and dairy.
- Meat restrictions… Shellfish, pig, rabbits, and camels are strictly prohibited in any Kosher dish.
- Slaughtering process… Meat must be slaughtered in accordance to Jewish law which means the animal must be killed by slicing its throat and all blood must be drained.
- Food preparation restrictions… Utensils, flatware, and even appliances that are used to prepare non-Kosher foods such as bacon may not be then used to prepare a Kosher meal. Even a dishwasher that was used to clean items that touched meat, cannot be used to then clean items that came in contact with dairy products. Use separate racks or run the dishwasher to clean it in between. (JewFaq)
Muslim Dietary Restrictions… We’re seeing more and more restaurants serving Halal food in accordance with Islamic dietary laws.
- Slaughtering process… Like Kosher meat, Halal meat must be slaughtered by slicing its throat and all blood must be drained. In addition, when slaughtered they should be facing west and the Muslim call to prayer should be playing.
- No pig products… This includes bacon, lard, and gelatin that is made with pig products. If a food preparation item such as a bowl, knife or spoon is in contact with meat product it is no longer considered Halal and cannot be used to prepare Halal food until it is thoroughly sanitized.
- No alcohol… Preparing food with beer, wine, or other alcohol product is strictly prohibited.