But Olymel spokesman Richard Vigneault said his company's products are processed under all required food safety and quality control standards mandated by the federal government.
The certification process consisted of having an iman recite a prayer in the plant and did not affect the slaughtering methods at all, he said.
"In no way we're practicing traditional halal slaughtering — no way," he said in a telephone interview. "In matter of fact, this [halal] certification has changed nothing about our slaughtering."
He dismissed media reports – including one on the talk show of former politician Mario Dumont, who helped get the debate rolling – as "totally wrong."
Vigneault said Olymel's method, which he insisted is humane, is to stun the poultry with an electric shock first and then slaughter it mechanically.
While Olymel's St-Damase, Que., plant is halal-certified, it has another poultry plant in Berthierville which is not.
"It's the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that regulates the slaughtering."