UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE OF HALAL FOOD AMONG NON-MUSLIMS IN MALAYSIA: CASE STUDY IN KUANTAN TOWN
Introduction: Halal is no longer a foreign word to everybody all over the world. It is primarily due to the high demand for halal food around the globe. Knowing about halal food is not necessarily means understanding and accepting it. Thus, this study was conducted to evaluate the level of knowledge and acceptance of halal food among non-Muslims in Malaysia. Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out in Kuantan town, Malaysia involving 100 respondents (male=51, female=49) where 34.0% of them are Buddhist, 31.0% Hindus, 20.0% Christian, and others (15.0%) using a specific questionnaire. Results: The results showed that 98.0% of the respondents understand the basic concept of halal food: clean, wholesome, and safe to be eaten. About 74.0% of the respondents also understand that pig, dog, and their descendants, blood, filth (najs), carrion, and non-slaughtered animals are prohibited for Muslims. Other questions about basic concepts of halal food were also correctly answered (between 44.0-93.0%). About 96.0% of the respondents also said that they would accept and consume halal food. Conclusions: This study showed an increasing trend of halal food knowledge and acceptance among non-Muslims in Malaysia, where most of them understand that halal food benefits all.
Key words: Halal food, Non-Muslims, Knowledge, Acceptance Level.