Is Shake Shack HALAL or HARAM In UK, US or Middle East?

Khadija Ahmed

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September 20, 2023
Is Shake Shack halal for Muslims?

Who doesn't love a juicy halal burger? Whether you're in the mood for chicken burgers, beef burgers or hot dogs, and live in the United States or other Muslim countries, it's important to know if you're consuming halal food as a Muslim at all times.

In this article we'll cover whether the popular fast-food chain, with Shake Shack locations around the world, is certified halal for Muslim consumers or would fall under the classification of haram foods.

What exactly is Shake Shack? 🍔

Shake Shack is a renowned fast-food chain that originated in New York City as a single hot dog cart in Madison Square Park. From 2001, Shake Shack rapidly expanded to various countries with international locations in UK, South Korea, Hong Kong and Mexico City.

Shake Shack's menu boasts a variety of mouthwatering products including chicken bites, chicken sandwiches, succulent smash beef patties, crinkle-cut fries, cheese fries, and vegan options like their shroom burger.

Since its fairly recent inception, Shake Shack has garnered a devoted following to its fast food chains, drawing in both locals and tourists seeking a taste of its signature offerings. But as its popularity has grown, particularly with customers following Islamic dietary laws, so has the demand for clarity regarding its halal status.

Menu items from Shake Shack including burgers and fries

Is Shake Shack halal? 🤔

The answer to the question of whether Shake Shack is halal or haram depends on the specific location of the shack. This is the same as other fast-food chains like McDonalds which can be halal depending on the country.

Unlike some fast-food chains that adopt a uniform halal meat products policy across all their branches, Shake Shack's approach varies based on the region and location. This variance has led to confusion and debates among consumers who are eager to align their dietary choices with their religious beliefs.

Does Shake Shack sell pork or alcohol? 🐷

One of the critical aspects for Muslims when considering halal status is whether pork or alcohol is served on the menu. Shake Shack, as a company policy, does have pork products being sold (like bacon) depending on the location of the store.

Shake Shack also does sell alcohol including a wide assortment of beer, ale and wine, so this is a consideration for Muslim customers looking to dine there.

Muslim friends enjoying Halal food at Shake Shack

Is Shake Shack halal in the UK? 🇬🇧

In the UK, Shake Shack branches does serve halal food however this only encompasses chicken products. That means that chicken burgers (like the Chick'n Shack confirmed by this tweet), chicken bites, and chicken breast is halal and they get their chicken from halal-certified suppliers.

However, beef and turkey products are not confirmed halal and Shake Shack UK serves halal chicken products and halal-certified food alongside non-halal Shake Shack products like their Creekstone Beef burger and other beef Shake Shack burgers.

From a certification point of view, again the chicken products have received halal certification and are safe for Muslims to eat. As there are non-halal menu items, Shake Shack UK does not have halal-certified restaurants.

Shake Shack restaurant in the United States

Is Shake Shack halal in the US? 🇺🇸

What about the halal status of its outlets in the United States?

In a confirmed tweet by Shake Shack, they have replied to a customer who asked whether the beef in Shake Shack US is halal.

Shake Shack replied:

"Unfortunately, our beef is not halal in the US. We use more than 1 supplier in the US for our beef."

As for the chicken, Shake Shack has said they do not serve any halal meat in the United States, which is a shame for any Muslim eater following Islamic law looking to try their first Shake Shack restaurant there.

Is Shake Shack halal in the Middle East? 🇸🇦

Shake Shack's presence in the Middle East includes branches in countries like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait.

In these regions as well as in Turkey, Shake Shack has taken steps to cater to the halal preferences of its customers and does have halal restaurants. All its branches are halal-certified and serve halal options including the beef and chicken on its menu.

Like all other restaurants in the region, Shake Shack does not serve pork products on its menu in the Middle East.

Shake Shack in the Middle East

Does Shake Shack have halal certification? 📃

Shake Shack's halal certification varies from location to location. In regions with a significant Muslim population, some branches have obtained halal certification from reputable certifying bodies. However, not all Shake Shack branches worldwide have pursued halal certification.

What do Islamic scholars say? 🕌

Islamic scholars have varying opinions on whether consuming food from non-halal-certified establishments is permissible. Some scholars argue that as long as the ingredients themselves are halal, dining at non-certified locations can be acceptable.

Others emphasise the importance of clear halal certification to ensure the complete adherence to Islamic dietary laws.

Regarding the eating of non-halal meat, the eating of pork is explicitly outlined in the Holy Quran, the holy book of Islam. In the Surah Al Bakarah, Allah emphasises the prohibition of consuming pork and its products according to Islamic law:

He has only forbidden you ˹to eat˺ carrion, blood, swine, and what is slaughtered in the name of any other than Allah. But if someone is compelled by necessity—neither driven by desire nor exceeding immediate need—they will not be sinful. Surely Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful. - Surah Al-Baqarah (2:173)

In conclusion, the halal status of Shake Shack branches varies depending on the region and location. While branches in the UK serve halal chicken, and shacks in the US don't serve halal meat at all, Shake Shack restaurants in the Middle East have obtained halal certification and do serve halal beef patties and chicken.

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