‘Chicken Ham’ At Srinagar Airport Creates Stir


Srinagar: Costa Coffee, a multinational coffee chain which has its outlet at Srinagar International Airport, has an item on its menu ‘smoked ham’ which by the definition of ‘ham’ could be nothing but pork.

Eating pork is forbidden in Islam but for a Muslim family flying out of Srinagar, it was a ‘close shave’ as they were about to eat the item. Unaware of what ham means, the family purchased a ‘smoked ham’ from the sales counter of Costa Coffee thinking it was a chicken item as the packet carried a picture of chicken on it.

Going through the contents of the packet, the family was shocked when they learnt it actually meant pig-meat. “Smoked ham and cheese in herby Focaccia: Smoked chicken ham and oven roasted tomatoes in herb focaccia,” the packet read with slogan “Heat to Eat.”

Ham is generally smoked meat from the upper part of a pig’s leg. According to the witnesses, the elderly person accompanying the family asked them to “throw away the packets, as it would be sin to eat.”

Most customers, who are unaware of what ham stands for, may have already consumed the ‘forbidden’ item.

“I thought it was some type of chicken but after surfing the internet, I came to know it could straightaway be pig meat,” said a visitor. “I, at once, felt uneasy and threw up the whole thing.”

“The sale of ham here has hurt our religious sentiments,” a group of aggrieved passengers said.

Some locals approached a tourist couple from the West present there to double-check on their apprehension. “This is pig meat,” the locals quoted the foreigners as having said after going through the contents of the product.

Pictures of the food item were circulated on social media immediately after the controversy erupted.

A post by a medico on Kashmir Observer Watsapp group said, “Sometimes sausages cut into slices are also called ham,” another netizen, however, had a word of caution. “In the UK, ham is nothing but pork.”

Attempts to reach out the coffee outlet did not materialize.

But the Airport authorities denied that pork any was being served at the airport. “I’ve checked it myself, it’s a chicken product, “airport director told Kashmir Observer.  “It’s a square piece of chicken, they have called it ham.” 

A closer search revealed that a chicken meat product, which resembles the cooked hams made from pork in both manufacture and appearance is called chicken ham.

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