NABC paid a visit to the newly opened S.I. Bukhari/Waqas Muslim Slaughterhouse in Duvall, WA, a family owned and operated USDA inspected establishment. Visiting the facility in person allowed staff to view the processing line and to talk with owner Zeeshan Qazi to understand how the slaughterhouse might benefit local dairy producers as well as food service operators. Until now, locally sourced and processed Halal meat from a USDA inspected establishment has been difficult to identify. Food & beverage products prepared following a set of Islamic dietary laws and regulations, which determine what is permissible, lawful and clean, are classified as “Halal.”
The demand for Halal food in North America (USA and Canada) is outpacing the limited reach of small Halal/ethnic specialty stores that traditionally resell to Muslim consumers. Food service operators, mainstream retailers and even the preschools involved with CPPW Farm to Table partnership have been searching for a local source for Halal meats for years. “It is not just about respect for land and animals, and the cleanliness of the food they serve to children and elders, but about showing support to the community and small farmers,” says NABC Marketing Director Lucy Norris. “Regarding consumer’s food safety concerns and food quality perceptions, there may even be a correlation between the growth in the Halal and kosher food industry and organic and natural industry.”
During the visit, a livestock trailer unloaded a delivery of bull calves, some just days old. Within a half hour, each calf was hand-slaughtered and processed by experienced Muslim meat cutters with the inspector on premises. For that farmer, the opportunity to sell his animals to this local slaughterhouse was a business solution. Having the option to sell the calves helps keep his dairy operation economically sustainable. Seattle-based food writer and TV personality Amy Pennington recently wrote an article in Edible Seattle called Consider the Calf: Sourcing ethical veal closes the loop at local dairies. She reminds readers, “At working dairies, bull calves are essentially a waste product in a system that is meant to be efficiently productive and economically viable.” For Northwest Washington, Bukhari/Waqas may help to bridge the gap between demand & supply of humanely slaughtered, locally grown and processed Halal meats, namely lamb, goat and veal.
S.I. Bukhari/Waqas Muslim Slaughterhouse opened its doors on June 4, 2012, and now processes up to 90 animals per day. They are both USDA inspected and WSDA Organic approved. They buy and sell lamb, goats and calves. Delivery is available to businesses in Everett, Seattle, Kent and Auburn. For more information about buying or selling, please call Bukhari/Waqas Muslim Slaughterhouse at 425-788-1128, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.