British Airways takes beef off menu to avoid offending Hindus

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London, May 9 (UNI) The British Airways has taken beef off the menu for economy passengers amid concerns about its ''religious restrictions.'' The airline has switched to a fish pie or chicken dish option instead of the national dish, which has been a staple meal on the national carrier for decades.

A BA spokesman said the it stopped serving beef to economy class passengers last month. ''We can only serve two options and beef and pork obviously have religious restrictions,'' he added.

''We have to try to use two meals which appeal to as many customers as possible. This summer season we are offering customers in World Traveller on most longhaul flights a choice of chicken and tarragon or fish pie,'' the spokesperson said.

''We also look at trends from major supermarkets to see what types of meals are popular and fish pie style meals are selling well at the moment,'' he informed.

''These two meals proved popular in tasting tests and are also proving popular on board,'' he claimed.

''It has nothing to do with the fear of causing offence - we always offer alternative meals for people with special dietary requirements if they order in advance,'' the spokesperson said.

''We are still serving beef based meals on certain menus in First Class and Club World and are currently deciding on whether or not to use beef on the menus for World Traveller customers for the winter season,'' the spokesperson told the Daily Mail.

The Hindu Council UK has welcomed the airline's decision.

''Hindus have a great deal of respect for British culture and are well integrated into the British way of life, so it's good to see evidence of how they are literally flying the British flag by choosing British Airways,'' the council said.

''That said, Hindus are tolerant of the beliefs of others and do not expect everyone to stop eating a food because they do not eat it,'' it added.

In the past three months world beef prices have risen from about 2,500 pounds a tonne to more than 4,000 pounds a tonne, largely because of the weakening dollar and rising feed costs.

However, BA said cost was not a reason for the decision to stop serving beef.

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