An outraged customer at a KFC branch in Leicester, U.K., said he was refused wet wipes by staff at the branch with the excuse that the wipes are soaked in alcohol and are therefore prohibited under Muslim law.
The dismayed customer, Graham Noakes, who was visiting the KFC branch in St George’s Retail Oark, said that while the use of the wipes might offend other customers, they don’t offend him.
“They told me it might offend other customers. I explained that it wouldn’t affect me. In fact – I told them I like alcohol, so it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest. When they wouldn’t give me one, I was disgusted. I will never be going to KFC again.”
While the KFC branch in question is a Halal-only branch, the use of wet wipes isn’t forbidden by any interpretation of Islam, from the most moderate to the most extreme.
Noakes, a father of two, told reporters of his experience that day.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this before, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.Why shouldn’t I be allowed a wipe for my hands? They use wipes in hospital, what happens when we start being told we can’t have wipes there? I just can’t understand it.”
A KFC spokesperson responding to the complaint said the company had been running a Halal-only trial since 2010 in areas where there was demand from Muslim customers. The spokesperson also said that some products in those stores are not always part of the usual menu.
The spokesperson added that in this particular KFC branch wet wipes had been removed since there was uncertainty on the company policy.
Suleman Nagdi, spokesman for the Leicester-based Federation of Muslim Organizations, said, “I know alcohol is prohibited in the Muslim community, but I don’t understand why you can’t use hand-wipes — there’s nothing wrong with it. Using alcohol doesn’t mean you’re consuming it. It seems like an unusual decision to be made. In fact, it sounds bizarre.”