Fast food giant Subway has removed pork products from 185 stores in the UK, where it will also use only halal meat in a bid to appeal to Muslim customers.
Turkey and turkey rashers will be used instead of ham and bacon, it said.
Islam requires Muslims to only eat meat prepared according to halal rules, which means animals have their throats slit before bleeding to death.
In response to animal welfare concerns, Subway said it would source meat from animals that had been stunned first, to reduce suffering.
The company, which has about 1500 stores in the UK, said its decision to ban pork products was a balance between animal welfare concerns and the views of religious communities.
“The growing popularity of the Subway chain with the diverse multicultural population across the UK and Ireland means we have to balance the values of many religious communities with the overall aim of improving the health and welfare standards of animals,” a Subway spokeswoman told the Daily Mail.
“We put a programme into place in 2007 to ensure that the population demographic is taken into account when new store openings are considered in order that we meet consumer demand in each location.”
Halal meat is commonplace in Middle East fast food outlets and is becoming increasingly common in Western countries, particularly in areas with high Muslim populations. Although in many cases stores offer both options.
Halal food is a fast growing industry, with the Islamic population of 1.6 billion increasing at about twice the global rate.
The entire Islamic economy is estimated to be worth $2tr and increasing about 20-25 percent annually.
Dubai announced in January it was planning to launch an international accreditation centre for halal food as part of the emirate's drive to become the world's capital for the Islamic economy.
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