Members of the Muslim Society of Prince Edward Island are saying thank you to Atlantic Beef Products for the company's commitment to producing halal beef.

Members recently presented the company with a plaque to show their appreciation.

"Because of the scale of work that they're doing, and how big and how convenient they have made it for us … we decided that we'd love to thank them for their services," said Omair Imtiaz, vice-president of the society.

For meat to be certified halal, the animal must be raised and slaughtered according to a specific set of rules. The meat must also be blessed. Atlantic Beef began producing halal beef in January 2016.

Limited options in the past

Eating only halal meat is a requirement for practicing Muslims. Before Atlantic Beef introduced its halal meat, Imtiaz said the options on P.E.I. were limited. 

' Everybody would rush and grab the halal meat and there would be no halal meat [left].' - Omair Imtiaz

Previously, he and another member of the society had a arrangement with a small local butcher. They would drive out, and bless the meat themselves.

While he said he appreciated the help from the butcher, options like that, "just weren't as convenient as getting up and going to the grocery store."

"I also remember that the places that did offer the little bit of halal meat that they did, it was quite difficult because whenever people would find out, everybody would rush and grab the halal meat and there would be no halal meat [left]," said Imtiaz.

Serving more people

Atlantic Beef Products president Russ Mallard said he was "very pleased" to receive the plaque from Imtiaz and other society members.

Mallard said he is happy to be able to meet the needs of a wider range of customers, and noted that following halal protocols doesn't interfere with the company's own standards, or those of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

"All the beef that we do process in our plant is handled extremely humanely, including our halal beef," said Mallard.

Mallard said the company has two full-time Muslim employees who perform the blessing for the meat.