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What if You Were Accidentally Served Pork?

I recently read a story on The Daily Meal that summarized a situation where the guests at a Muslim wedding were served pork by accident, though the family arranging the wedding said they specifically requested pork not be anywhere in the food served.

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The catering company claims it was not done intentionally and that they didn’t know (read the original story with full details here).

Something like this has never happened to me, alhamdullilah, maybe because I am one to get things like catering services in writing and I also tend to look and smell food to scope out any ‘accidents’ first. Yes, it is more work than I’d like to do, but I know that accidents do happen and pork is something that’s somewhat easy to detect in taste and smell (at least I think so).

This poses an interesting question for all of us to ponder, a question which actually makes way for even more quesitons to arise: What Would You Do in This Situation?

Or, maybe I should ask, What Wouldn’t You Do in a situation like this?  Would you limit your dining out experiences to halal-only places just to avoid such a foible?

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  1. I’ve never been in the situation to afford catering for an event (!) but even so, would usually stick to Muslim catering companies because they generally know what is allowed – I say generally because everyone has differing opinions on the small things (eg gelatine, E471 etc) but the big things (pork, alcohol) are pretty consistent.

  2. Recently I accidentally ate a food sample with pork in it. I was at Trader joes before Thanksgiving and they were giving out samples of stuffing and cranberry jelly. I took one and started to eat it when I realized there was something else in there because of the texture. At first I thought it must be turkey so I continued to chew and swallow while searching for the little sign that they usually write what exactly it is they are serving. Turns out the stuffing had pork sausage in it. I was so upset, with myself, for not paying closer attention. I threw out what was left on the paper plate as well as what was in my mouth. I felt quite bad, also I don’t really like meat that much so it was double gross to me, but I figure it was unintentional, no harm done..

  3. Personally, if you eat it on accident and not intentionally you are forgiven. I’ve eaten it by accident and normally if we’re unsure of something I can tell right away (having eaten pork for years before converting). My personal belief is there are a lot bigger things to worry about in the end. You could avoid pork to no end but do other things that are worse. Sometimes I feel people focus too much on the details in Islam than the overall picture. For example I see some Muslims who are fanatical about eating only zabiha, having their beards a certain length, not being near a dog but don’t show kindness and compassion to others, choose to segregate themselves from society etc.

  4. That first sentence should have said “I always thought that if you eat it on accident and not intentionally you are forgiven”

  5. I hope that never happens to me or any one else.. May Allah save us from all harams.. Ameen!

  6. It happened once to my husband and I in a restaurant. We immediately stopped eating, sent the food back and asked Allah to forgive us. When eating out, we stick to chicken and fish and tell waiters that we have a “pork allergy” and that usually makes them more vigilant. I’m thankful that my family is happy to accommodate us (I’m a convert) but it still makes me cringe that everyone else is being served pork and drinking alcohol. I can’t control what others do, only what I do.

  7. I know how unpleasant is when such a situations appear but in that case which you described is quite frustrating especially due to the fact that this is restricted by the religion. However such situations are always happening and in order to avoid them we should pay more attention.

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  8. Sadly enough, Muslims and Jews and those from the Christians who abstain from pork and alcohol end up consume them even in small quantities. This should at least wake up those of us who are not only health conscious but truly fear Allah to create and support our own halal companies and shops. In my case, I didn’t eat pork even before I found Islam (not due to religion, in fact I was atheist) and just picked it out from dishes or pizza, etc., but now of course, I take it seriously and I just avoid anywhere that serves it, end of story. I simpy ask if they serve it or use products that have it. Anyway, I prefer to cook over eating out, the safer choice. But as Amanda said, and it is truly hurtful as Muslim to witness this: all the talk about permissibility and who’s is right or wrong, etc and yet compassion and kindness are qualities which are very, very, very hard to find amongst Muslims these days. Allahul-musta’an.

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