A UK branch of the fried chicken chain KFC mistakenly banned alcohol-laden hand-wipes, believing that the moist towelettes were against Islamic law. The Telegraph reports the confusion occurred at a Leicester, England location of KFC, which is participating in a test program offering halal chicken for Muslim guests. An uproar began when a non-Muslim customer told the Daily Mail he was denied a hand-wipe due to the halal store policy, which considered the wipes' alcohol content potentially offensive. But both KFC and members of the Muslim community have called the incident a "misunderstanding" and a misinterpretation of halal guidelines.
A KFC spokesperson told the Daily Mail that "our alcohol-based hand wipes are approved for use in all our restaurants, including those who are part of the halal trial." Perhaps most crucially, Muslim leaders are "baffled" as to where the perception began that alcohol-based products, like hand wipes, were frowned upon in the first place. A spokesperson for the Federation of Muslim Organizations tells the Telegraph that although the ban may have been well-meaning, a reaction like that of the outraged customer may lead to unintended backlash: "Sometimes the intention is sincere but they do need to understand the repercussions of this upon the community." The mix-up has now been remedied, and hand wipes are now available at the Leicester store in question.