Questions concerning the article in the Coventry Telegraph in July 2003

September 6, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Thank you for your correspondence and your questions concerning the article in the Coventry Telegraph, which was published just over 14 years ago – in July 2003. I am sorry if it caused you any concern.

The event in question occurred long before the current management structure was in place, and long before we established our current factory.

In 2003, KQF operated differently. At that time, the processing schedule involved doing consecutive manufacturing runs of lamb, chicken and beef on the same day. The wash-down procedure was at the end of each day. As a consequence, there were traces of spiced meat mix carried forward from one product run to another and these were found in the laboratory test. The cross contamination was unintentional; the result of a practice we have long since abandoned.

Please be assured that such problems could not happen today. Over a dozen years ago, we updated all our manufacturing processes to prevent the possibility of any such issues. Different meat types are now handled on different days of the week, and additional wash-downs are performed between runs to prevent allergy risks.

As you probably know, we are now accredited by the Halal Monitoring Committee, and have been for many years. The HMC provides a professional inspector who is stationed full time at our factory. He checks the source of all incoming products, he monitors all our manufacturing operations, and he verifies that only certified halal ingredients are ever used in KQF products.

The quality and safety of our manufacturing operations are accredited by the British Retail Consortium, which has given us the highest possible AA rating. Its accreditation covers food safety and hygiene, the fitness of our processes, the accuracy of our record-keeping, the use and maintenance of equipment and all the many other factors that have a bearing on the quality and traceability of our finished products.

In short, our systems and processes today are overseen and accredited by the food industry’s most stringent and exacting monitoring bodies. We have earned the highest possible ratings for quality and halal  integrity, and we continuously review and improve our systems to ensure that we maintain the highest standards. Since revising our procedures well over a decade ago, we have had no recurrence of the issue reported in the 2003 newspaper article, and have received no further complaints.

There is nothing more important to us than maintaining our customers’ trust, so if you have any concerns – or if you would like to arrange a visit to inspect our manufacturing operations for yourself, please contact us.

KQF at Muslim Lifestyle Expo 2016

November 30, 2016 at 3:12 pm

mle-2016-poster1-webThe Muslim Lifestyle Expo is a two day exhibition that promotes the best of global Muslim trends, culture, food and business. This year, it was held at Event City in Manchester on the weekend of 29th and 30th October. It attracted more than 120 exhibitors from 14 countries. Their interests spanned everything from arts to business, fashion to food.

As a company with an increasing international profile, we felt it only right that KQF was represented at the event, so we booked a place and set up our stand in hall number 2. The event attracted between 7,000 and 10,000 visitors and with such large numbers, it was no surprise that our staff were kept very busy. At the stall, we prepared and distributed samples of various well known halal favourites such as our KQF Chicken Grills, but we also took the opportunity to get some early customer feedback on some of our newest product launches.

A particular draw was the opportunity to sample our new Kobeda Bites – tasty, oven ready bites that can be heated up quickly and served as snacks, starters, a side dish or an unusual finger food for buffets and parties. We offered samples in three world flavours: Turkish, Lebanese and Portuguese Peri Peri.

The response was excellent, with opinions broadly split on the question of favourite flavours. Many visitors said that they had never tried or seen this sort of product before, and that they would be keen to buy.  Staff explained that Kobeda Bites are now on sale via the KQF website and are currently being distributed to a selection of retailers UK-wide.

All in all, the event was a great success. The days were long, with staff manning the stand from 10am until 7pm on Saturday and 10 till 6pm on the Sunday. However, as a platform to promote ourselves to a broad national audience, the Expo was an unmissable opportunity and one we are very glad to have taken.

More information about our new Kobeda bites can be found on this website, or in many stores. Look out for  new in-store promotions, social media updates and information about free local taster sessions.

KQF achieves BRC Accreditation

July 12, 2016 at 9:23 am

We are so pleased to announce that KQF underwent a thorough audit check again this year for BRC certification and has achieved “Grade A” rating.

As most of you are aware, BRC Accreditation is a leading safety and quality certification issued worldwide. The Standards guarantee the standardisation of quality, safety and operational criteria and ensure that manufacturers fulfil their legal obligations and provide protection for the end consumer. BRC Global Standards are now often a fundamental requirement of leading retailers.

KQF MD, Faruk Vali said: “I am delighted to gain the BRC accreditation and would like to congratulate all the staff at KQF who have contributed towards this important success. This shows that our production follows record keeping processes and our commitment to quality halal food production will remain as strong and reliable as ever.”

BRC-certificate-2016

Life is like a sandwich, the more you add to it, the better it becomes. Enjoy!

May 9, 2016 at 9:48 am

sandwich-2-Lamb-Sliced-meatsThe 8th to 14th May will see another of those peculiar periods of promotion and celebration – in this case British Sandwich Week.

Originally, the term was named after John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, who is said to have been fond of eating foods held between slices of bread because it meant he didn’t need to use a knife and fork. That meant he could keep one hand free for card games.

However, the use of flatbreads as a food container – as in the popular modern wrap – long predates the leisure-loving Earl. In the Middle East, flatbreads have been used in this way for more than two thousand years. Indeed, the idea of using bread as a plate, a container or a kind of spoon has remained with us ever since.

In all cases, however, the great appeal of such dishes is convenience. Just as John Montagu enjoyed sandwiches because they were easily portable and kept his hands (and cards) clean, so countless generations of families have appreciated their self-contained simplicity. Ideal for buffets, picnics and packed lunches, they really are the perfect ‘food on the go’.

At KQF, we’re no stranger to their appeal. Many of our customers are big fans of the wrap and the sandwich, and summer in particular sees a big surge in orders for bread-friendly fillings such as chilled meat slices, polonies and our Halal Macon Rashers.

The big advantage of such foods is that they are all ready-cooked so for busy parents and party hosts, it’s easy to make the transition from fridge to plate. Two slices of bread, a little spread and a tasty meat filling are all it takes for a satisfying bite – but why stop there? A  slice of lettuce, tomato or cheese can quickly add an enlivening touch, as can pickles, relishes and other tasty extras.

sandwich-week-news-letter-Chicken-Sliced-meatHere are some quick and tasty ideas we like:

  • Halal Macon Rasher sandwich – with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. (The halal version of the BLT classic.)
  • Halal Macon Rasher sandwich – with sautéed mushrooms and halal cheese.
  • Sliced polony sandwich – great with finely shredded lettuce and onion.
  • Sliced polony sandwich – a touch more exotic with hummus and sweet chilli sauce.
  • Pastrami sandwich – try it on rye bread with sauerkraut, mustard and sliced cheese.
  • Salt beef sandwich – again, great on rye but with minced onion and mayonnaise.
  • Salt beef sandwich – delicious with English mustard and sliced pickled gherkin.
  • Sliced lamb sandwich – try it with roast garlic, thinly sliced onion, mayo and a squeeze of lemon.
  • Sliced lamb sandwich – with thinly sliced tomato, mustard and shredded lettuce.
  • Sliced chicken sandwich – in a wrap with lettuce, Mexican-style salsa and sliced avocado.
  • Sliced chicken sandwich – with lettuce, Halal Macon Rashers and melted cheese.

These are just a few options but, of course, the great advantage of sandwiches is that there are no rules. With British Sandwich Week now upon us, now is a great time to experiment.

New post office to open in KQF Superstore with Sunday opening hours

July 28, 2015 at 9:03 am

KQF-PO-leaflet

The KQF Superstore in Blackburn has seen some important changes in recent times. Since taking on the store at the end of 2013, we’ve given it a complete overhaul. We’ve changed its layout, we’ve lengthened the opening hours to 100 hours a week, we’ve introduced many new products and we’ve substantially changed the structure of the building itself.

Now, customers can prepare themselves for what we trust will be another big improvement – one that will provide even more convenience for local people and add an important new dimension to our work.

As from 11th August, the KQF Superstore will also boast a fully operational Post Office.

Here, in addition to doing their regular family shopping, customers will be able to send parcels, transfer payments, paying bills and enjoy all the other community-focused services you’d expect from one of the country’s best known national networks.

The changes have required a great deal of planning but everything is now in place and the new facility will be launched on schedule. It will employ 2 new staff with longer opening hours – 100 hours a week. Enjoy great services at your new branch on weekdays and weekends too.

Monday 7am to 10pm
Tuesday 7am to 10pm
Wednesday 7am to 10pm
Thursday 7am to 10pm
Friday 7am to 10pm
Saturday 8am to 9pm
Sunday 9am to 9pm

Our new post office will provide handy everyday essential services:

  • Mails
  • Cash Withdrawals
  • Travel Money
  • Telecoms
  • Paying bills
  • Mobile phone top ups
  • And many more..

“We’ve been talking to the local community for quite some time now,” said KQF’s managing director Faruk Vali, “so I’m confident that the new Post Office is something that people really feel they need. It will make the KQF Superstore even more of a one-stop-shop and, I hope, it will help to ensure that it stays very well connected with the needs of the community.”

Four Summertime Uses for Halal Macon Rashers

June 12, 2015 at 11:32 am

Macon-rashers-launch

You may recall that when we launched KQF’s Halal Macon Rashers, we offered some serving suggestions (see blog post.) Now that summer’s well on its way and we can once again think about evening meals in the garden, we thoughts we’d suggest some further uses for this very versatile ingredient.

1 Luxury burger topping

Barbecued burgers are great but they can be given an added touch of luxury if you add a smoked Macon Rasher to the mix. The smoky flavour of the Rashers goes really well with an outdoor, flame-grilled burger. Remember, though, KQF Macon Rashers are sold ready cooked, so you only need to heat them through; a few seconds on the BBQ should be all they’ll need.

2 Summer salads

Cut into small pieces, our Halal Macon Rashers lend flavour and substance to all kind of salads. From a simple mix of green leaves to more hearty dishes such as couscous, rice salads, bulgur wheat and pasta.

3 Party snacks

Ready cooked and delicious whether served hot or cold, our Rashers are great for wrapping round cheese, halal sausages and other party treats.

4 Toast topping

When you’re sitting out in the evening and the temperature begins to drop, it’s sometimes nice to be able to rustle up something quick, warm and delicious. Everyone knows how easy it is to make cheese on toast, but add in a few small pieces of Macon Rasher and an everyday snack starts to get really interesting. The smoky flavour works so beautifully with cheese that it really has to be worth a try.

Moroccan-style burgers and couscous

June 5, 2015 at 9:20 am

Our Gourmet Moroccan Beef Burgers have proved to be one of our most popular recent introductions so, with barbecue season now upon us, we thought we’d suggest a delicious North African-themed accompaniment.

Couscous is a very well known dish that is made from durum wheat and originates from North Africa. It can be bought in many forms, including ready-cooked, and it’s great for soaking up flavour. The most common form is the quick-cook variety which can be cooked by adding boiling water or by simmering gently in a pan. Cooking times vary, so follow the supplier’s instructions.

In this example, we’re using a fairly simple recipe, but you can enliven it with your own additions – peas, beans, raisins, extra spices – whatever you fancy.

To serve approximately four people, you will need:

couscous-15-E200g couscous (not ready cooked)

  • 250ml of chicken stock
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 lemons
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Handful of fresh mint

Method:

Note that this recipe can be served hot or cold, so you can prepare it in advance, depending on how you want to serve it.

  • Heat the chicken stock in a pan (you can use vegetable stock if you prefer)
  • Put the couscous in a large bowl.
  • Take the zest and juice of the two lemons.
  • When the stock is boiling, pour it over the couscous
  • Stir in the olive oil, lemon juice and zest.
  • Cover the bowl with cling-film and give the couscous time to absorb the stock. Cooking times vary but it will usually take around 5 to 10 minutes.
  • When the liquid has been absorbed, stir the couscous with a fork to make it light and fluffy.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add the finely chopped mint and any extra chosen ingredients – tomatoes, peas, finely chopped peppers, raisins etc. – and lightly fork into the mix.

Healthy, delicious and ideal for summers in the garden, couscous makes the perfect accompaniment to KQF’s Moroccan-style Gourmet Beef Burgers.

Thai-style burgers and rice noodle salad

May 5, 2015 at 11:48 am

Summer is on its way and, with a host of new halal foods to offer, we thought we’d take the opportunity to suggest a few ideas for a great family barbecue. A straightforward burger in a bun is always a winner, of course, but sometimes it’s nice to try something different.

Our new Exotic range seems like the obvious place to start for some interesting new suggestions, so in this post, we’ll look at our new Exotic Thai-style gourmet burgers and how you can make them the centrepiece of a delicious summertime treat. The burgers in the Exotic range are made with HMC-certified halal beef and they weight 220g (half a pound) so they really are very substantial and satisfying. You certainly shouldn’t need to go back for a second one…

BBQ idea: Thai-style burgers and rice noodle salad

The Exotic Thai-style halal beef burger can be served with all sorts of different accompaniments, from a conventional burger bun to the more culturally-authentic steamed rice or noodles. This recipe idea uses rice noodles, which are quick and easy to cook and can be served hot or cold.

Beef-ExoticBurger-ThaiTo serve approximately four people, you will need:

  • 200g of dried rice noodles (flat variety)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 large wine tomato
  • 2 limes
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander
  • 20 ml (2 dessert spoons) of ginger syrup
  • Fresh chilli and spring onion to taste

Rice noodles are most often sold dry and pre-packed and although they are usually very quick to cook, their cooking times vary. Typically, to reduce cooking time, they can be soaked in cold water before steaming or boiling. Follow the instructions on the pack.

If you plan to make this a cold salad, then you can cook the noodles in advance, but if so, keep them in a sealed container so they don’t start to dry out. If you want to serve them hot, then schedule the following preparations to that the noodles are ready at the same time as the burgers.

Method:

Rice-noodle-salad

  • Peel the carrots and grate them into a large bowl.
  • Finely dice or grate the cucumber into the same bowl.
  • Put big chunks of wine tomato into the bowl.
  • Add the zest and juice of the two limes.
  • Add the ginger syrup (You can buy jars of stem ginger in syrup. Use the thinly cut stem ginger, too, if you wish.)
  • Add the coriander leaves, finely chopped.
  • Finely chop the spring onions and red chilli, and add to taste.
  • Add the cooked rice noodles and mix thoroughly.

Fresh, zingy and packed with vitamins, these noodles make a great accompaniment to KQF’s Thai-style Gourmet Beef Burgers, but they also work well with plainer meats such as barbecued chicken or even hard boiled eggs.

The New KQF Jumbo Range

April 2, 2015 at 1:18 pm

We recently announced our rising excitement about the launch of our new KQF Exotic range – high quality, half pound beef burgers available in five ‘world flavours’. The new products landed in the shops on Saturday 21st March.

Their introduction has prompted a ‘reshuffle’ of our existing range of Premium quality halal burgers and one of the results of this has been the launch of our new ‘Jumbo‘ range. This combines KQF’s existing Texan burgers with a new ‘Great British’ range, in which the focus is on high quality meat, simply seasoned without the use of herbs or spices. Weighing 110g each, the burgers are available in beef, chicken and lamb.

KQf Jumbo range of burgers

Weighing in at around twice the size of a standard high street burger, they also have a higher lean meat content. They are designed to allow families to enjoy a top quality burger at a fraction of the cost of an ordinary take-out.

Made with an authentic blend of Indian herbs and spices, KQF Jumbo burgers are perfect for parties and family occasions. Available in packs of 4, they can be can be grilled, barbecued or pan-fried.

Find them on the KQF website in the Frozen/Premium Burgers section.

Cub Scouts Visit

April 1, 2015 at 9:02 am

You may recall that in December last year, we had a visit from a local Cub Scouts Group. Well, we enjoyed the visit so much that we decide to repeat the experience, so, on Saturday 28th March, we welcomed 25 members of the Abu Hanifah Foundation Cub Scouts Group.

Aged between 6 and 7, the cubs visited our manufacturing facility in Blackburn and were welcomed by our managing director, Faruk Vali. He gave them a quick overview of the company’s work and showed them a company video before conducting them on a tour of the factory floor.

IMG_6247One of the reasons for the children’s visit was to learn about the importance of food hygiene, which is a vital concern to food manufacturers. The cubs saw how workers prepared to enter the production area, the protective clothes they wore and the equipment they used to prevent food contamination. Staff gave a demonstration of their work and explained the processes that KQF had to follow in order to operate safely.

“It was great to have another group of cubs visit our factory,” said Faruk Vali. “It’s nice to have the opportunity to show children around and to demonstrate how seriously we take matters like hygiene and safety. The highlight, though, was our ever-popular sausage/polony-making challenge, where we show the children how it’s done and then invite them to have a go. They worked very well and received a certificate to commemorate all their hard work.”

After trying their hands at food manufacture, the scouts completed their tour by receiving a ‘goody bag’ containing polonies, sausages and KQF’s new Halal Macon Rashers and a certificate of attendance.

It was another great day with the Abu Hanifah Foundation Cub Scouts Group and we thank them all for visiting us.