Pizza Express is a pizza chain in the United Kingdom with stores across the country. In the past, the company has never been shy to advertise they serve Halal chicken as part of their "Better Chicken" commitment towards using the best quality poultry in their ingredients.
The restaurant chain had once published the following statement on their website:
"It is no secret that all the chicken used in our dishes is halal slaughtered. Our teams in restaurants have and always will provide this information, and in addition it is available on the customer service section of our website. We're committed to high animal welfare standards and as such the birds are stunned before slaughter. The quality, safety and integrity of our products is paramount and our chicken supplier is accredited by the British Retail Consortium. This means it meets the global standard for food safety. None of our other meats are halal."
However, as of January 2022, Pizza Express no longer serves Halal certified chicken. After contacting the Pizza Express team at their HQ we received the following statement:
"Pizza Express has used halal-slaughtered chicken for several years, but we have never been able to offer a finished dish that was Halal-certified, due to the presence of pork and other non-halal meats in our restaurants and as our kitchens do not operate halal procedures.
Whilst our previous suppliers provided halal slaughtered chicken, it was never our policy for that to be our only option. Since the launch of our Autumn Menu on the 21st September our chicken now comes from accredited suppliers that use both non-halal and halal slaughter methods, because we have recently increased our sourcing options on chicken to ensure continuity of supply during the current challenges within all supply chains.
Where halal slaughter is used, the animals are stunned before slaughter. All our meat suppliers are approved by the Brand Reputation Compliance Global Standards, a globally renowned safety standard and, all comply with EU or local animal welfare regulations.
If asked our teams in restaurants are trained to provide customers with accurate menu and ingredient information. In addition, this information is available on the customer support section of our website.
Please be aware that none of our other meats are halal and we do not have any halal kitchens or restaurants."
In short, Pizza Express state that their poultry suppliers of both Halal-certified and non- Halal-certified options. Unclear of whether this meant Muslims could still dine at Pizza Express for Halal chicken, we followed up to seek further clarification...
Pizza Express responded to say that the chicken they receive from their suppliers is unmarked so they have no way of telling which chicken is Halal-certified and which is not.
Therefore, there is no guarantee that the chicken on your plate at Pizza Express is Halal. Since the poultry received from their suppliers is unmarked, it is also impossible to request Halal chicken at the store or in advanced.