The other day, I met with four young Muslim men from Florida, on their first-ever visit to Japan. They were sitting in a Malaysian restaurant called Malaychan in Ikeukuro in Tokyo. They told me that, sometimes, it was pretty difficult for them to determine whether they were actually consuming halal food whenever they visited a restaurant even in the US. But, they seemed to be happy that they were able to find halal restaurant in japan without much difficulty.
Of course, no one can ABSOLUTELY guarantee whether the food they are consuming is actually halal. There are lot of restaurants out there in every part of the world which do not care much about what they are offering to their customers. It is true for small restaurants as well as for restaurants in large hotel chains. Even some Muslim owners also fall into this same sad category of ignorants.
Unfortunately, most of the Japanese restaurants in Japan use wine while cooking their cuisines. They do not consider it haram. Some other restaurant owners in the country think that ham and beacons are not meat. That is especially ridiculous as both these items are indeed, pork meat.
You, as an informed consumer, can greatly minimize the chance of consuming haram food especially if you are in Japan. You simply need to ask the following questions to make sure that you are going to eat what you want to eat and nothing else. I have listed up some of the questions which you may want to ask when you enter a restaurant which claims to offer Halal food.
- What food items in your restaurant are halal?
- Do you store the halal chicken or mutton along with other non-halal items or separately? In the same refrigerator or in a different one?
- Do you use separate cooking utensils for halal vs non- halal dishes? For example, cutting board, knives,frying pan, other cooking pots etc.
- Which cooking oil do you use for cooking purposes, a salad oil or non-salad one?
The above-mentioned questions may help you determine whether you are going to actually eat halal food in the restaurant in question. However, you may want to ask them further questions if you are still in doubt.