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KFC apologizes for banning wet wipes at halal restaurant

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Many KFC restaurants offer wet wipes to customers with their meal. (KFC)

Nothing cleans the grease off dirty fingers quite like a wet wipe after a fried chicken meal. 

But one KFC customer in the U.K. was recently refused a wipe at a halal-only restaurant because he was told it violated  the location’s policy, reports the Leicester Mercury.

KFC operates dozens of halal stores in the U.K., and 32 in the U.S., that adhere to Islamic law mandating how food is prepared. Customer Graham Noakes said that the chain refused him the wipes because they were soaked in rubbing alcohol and told it was forbidden under Islamic law.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this before, I couldn’t believe it,” said Noakes.  

“Why shouldn’t I be allowed a wipe for my hands? They use wipes in hospital, what happens when we start being told we can’t have wipes there?”

He told the British newspaper that he was “disgusted” and vowed never eat at KFC again.

A spokesperson for KFC initially defended the location’s decision stating, “Wherever possible, we have taken steps to ensure that our halal restaurants are close to a non-halal store to cater to all of our customers' needs, and, in this case, customers wanting a non-halal option can visit our nearby restaurant in Braunstone.”

But the town’s local Federation of Muslim Organizations questioned the chain’s policy, calling it “bizarre.”

“I know alcohol is prohibited in the Muslim community, but I don’t understand why you can’t use hand-wipes - there’s nothing wrong with it,” Suleman Nagdi, a spokesman for the group, told the Leicester Mercury. “KFC have made a commercial  decision to do this, and now the Muslim community will face backlash.”

Now the chain is back peddling, claiming the ban on alcohol-soaked wet wipes was a “misunderstanding.”

A spokesman for KFC issued a statement on the restaurant faux pas and apologized for the incident:

“Our alcohol-based hand wipes are approved for use in all our restaurants, including those who are part of the halal trial. There was a misunderstanding at the store in question, but the wipes are now being used again.”