MUSLIM leaders from East Lancashire have demanded a meeting with bosses of a fast food giant in a row over halal accreditation.

According to Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), its Accrington, Blackburn, Colne and Burnley restaurants have switched to halal.

KFC said it was certified by the Halal Food Authority (HFA) and the authority’s logo is displayed on the doors of its outlets.

But the Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM) has asked for an urgent meeting with the firm after concerns were raised over the authenticity of the halal food served.

Meanwhile a protest has been launched against KFC’s decision to serve only halal meat at its Colne branch.

More than 1,500 people have joined a Facebook group, ‘No halal at Colne KFC.’ The HFA is the largest food certification body in the UK and certifies thousands of shops, butchers and stores across the UK.

But the council said it was now using the Halal Monitoring Committee (HMC) criteria as its benchmark.

Just over 300 businesses in the UK are certified by the HMC which claims to take a more proactive approach in ensuring food is halal.

In a statement the LCM said: “Upon researching KFC’s website, it is apparent the chickens are stunned before slaughter.

“This issue is of great concern to us because the halal criterion, adopted by LCM after wide consultation, does not allow stunning and this conforms to British law.

“We are concerned whether there is a thorough certification process in place throughout the supply chain of KFC.

“With the above in mind, the LCM halal sub group has requested an urgent meeting with the representatives of the Lancashire branches of KFC together with the halal manager from KFC headquarters.

“Meanwhile, LCM recommends the Muslim community to exercise caution.”

A spokesperson for KFC said: “We have replied to the many requests for halal restaurants by introducing a halal trial at a number of stores across the country, which includes some of our restaurants in Lancashire.

“The trial is accredited by the Halal Food Authority which is recognised in the UK and by the World Halal Council.”