FOUR KFC restaurants have taken bacon off the menu in favour of Muslim-friendly products.
The Endeavour Hills, Fawkner, Keilor Downs and Flemington KFC outlets have all dumped bacon from fillet burgers.
At Endeavour Hills, “sold-out” stickers have been placed over bacon products on its drive-through menu.
Customers are offered alternatives such as cheese or pineapple.
Angry Christians claim religious discrimination.
Last year the Hume City Council tried to ban ham and pork at its functions as a sign of respect to Muslims.
Endeavour Hills Christian Joan Hansen has vowed to boycott all KFC restaurants until bacon returns to the menu.
“I like bacon and I think it’s a bit rude that they’re kowtowing to a minority,” she said.
Mrs Hansen said she felt sick when she first heard the news. “I’m just scared of where it’s heading,” she said.
Narre Warren North MP Luke Donnellan said the restaurants should cater for all religions.
Halal preparation of food means Muslims can avoid eating pork products or from eating at places where pork products are prepared.
Antiochian Orthodox priest Reverend Geoff Harvey said the situation was ridiculous. “It’s offensive to Christians that they can’t get a bacon burger when they go into KFC, so who do you offend most?” he said.
KFC corporate affairs manager Angus Armstrong said the bacon-free menu would be tested at the four restaurants over three months.
“We’re testing to see if it makes a difference and if it’s appreciated by customers,” he said.
Mr Armstrong said bacon would return if the trial was unsuccessful.
He said there were no plans to expand the trial beyond the four stores.
However, Muslims were offended anyway:
But the human rights co-ordinator for the Islamic Council of Victoria, Bilal Cleland, warned KFC’s menu may not in fact be halal.
“We hope that people are not taken in by this scheme. Just because you take the bacon out of the burgers doesn’t make the food halal,” he said.
“There has to be authentic certification that the food is halal and I haven’t seen any evidence of that.”
He said that all the meat, including chicken, must be certified as halal before it was acceptable to Muslims.