One popular noodle chain’s popularity first, halal-certified later approach to business has resulted in some confusion in Indonesia.
Since its launch in 2016, Mie Gacoan quickly rose to ubiquitous status in the country. The chain boasts more than 100 stores, the majority of which are located throughout Java, as of 2022.
Despite its apparent popularity, Mie Gacoan faced resistance from some Muslims as it was not halal-certified.
That’s not to say the restaurant’s food did not meet halal standards — getting certified is often a long and arduous process. It was only recently that Mie Gacoan announced that it obtained halal certification in November 2022.
However, the Food and Drug Analysis Agency of the Indonesian Ulema Council (LPPOM MUI), which serves as the supervisory body in the government’s halal certification service, clarified that Mie Gacoan is only halal-certified in the “manufacturing” level.
“One can’t use certification for ingredients as the basis for the claim that the restaurant is [fully] halal-certified,” LPPOM MUI Director Muti Arintawati told Detik today.
The agency says Mie Gacoan has not yet filed for full halal certification, which would guarantee that the dishes served to customers meet the country’s halal standards.
The chain may actually be prepping for full halal certification. Mie Gacoan attracted some controversy for naming its spicy noodle dishes using nouns related to the fiery pits of hell, such as Mie Setan (Devil’s Noodles).
Such naming convention, as MUI warned before, may in itself make a dish haram (forbidden for consumption by Muslims).
Mie Gacoan has recently dropped its hellish dish names in favor of less blasphemous names.
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