Representatives from the IUJ Muslim Student Association (MSA) met with the chefs of the IUJ cafeteria “Shokudo” to learn about their “Halal Services.” Some in the community had concerns which we addressed one by one.
What we learned is that IUJ should really be bragging about our Shokudo: their efforts for the Muslim community here should be more publicized.
For 6 years now, the Shokudo team has been learning about Halal products available in Japan, ingredients that are acceptable, and the preparation and cleaning process required by the Muslim community. About 90% of all dishes served are now Halal.
By the end of the meeting the MSA representatives felt very appreciative of the behind-the-scenes effort and attention given, by the staff and left with more confidence about the services. They will report back to the other MSA members.
So, what do they do?
They have identified reliable sources of Halal products: products labeled with the “Halal” mark. They go one step further and analyze the ingredients listed comparing them to lists of acceptable and unacceptable ingredients as a 2nd confirmation.
Outside vendors are even bringing in new products for them to consider that meet the requirements.
They use non-alcohol based cleaning products, special knives and cutting boards, etc. They of course use appropriate oils, and never mix Halal and non-Halal products when cooking!
They stock drinks, snacks, and instant Miso soup, etc, and offer in-house baked breads and freshly brewed coffee service in the IUJ Shop that are Halal. They even make their own handmade yogurt in 4 different ways, ensuring quality products—and it is delicious.
Thank you IUJ Shokudo staff!