iD Fresh Foods files complaint against anti-Muslim campaign

Musthafa PC, founder, iD fresh food

Ready-to-cook food brand, iD Fresh Foods, has filed a case on Wednesday against communal accusations against it, as false Whatsapp forwards accused the brand of mixing cow bones and calf rennet in their batter and alleged the food start-up of employing only Muslims.

The Bengaluru-based company, born out of hardships and struggle in 2005, later branched out into 45 markets, employing 1500 plus people. Recently, the company has launched a 40 crore plant for batter preparation and packaging in Anekal, Karnataka.

During the pandemic alone, the company hired 150 employees, when mass layoff was the norm. Earlier this year, the food start-up came up creating opportunities for diverse sections of the society. Moreover, the company is to launch an exclusive iD Women Network, ensuring gender diversity in manufacturing field, which is traditionally male dominated.

However, giving an anti-Muslim angle, the Whatsapp forwards claimed that the company “only hires Muslims” and is “halal certified”. The Whastapp forward added a link about the company’s fundraising announcement in 2014 when it raised Rs 35 crore, claiming it was the country’s first V-C deal to “adhere to strict Shariah Islamic Law.”

Musthafa PC, founder, iD fresh food said, “Over the last few days, several customers have been reaching out to me concerned about dubious social media posts and forwards regarding iD products. While we don’t know ‘why’ these claims are being made or ‘who’ is behind this conspiracy to malign the brand, I can tell you with 100 percent conviction that none of it is true.”

Musthafa adds, “We need to step up and stop the spread of misinformation, particularly in today’s times when the reach and effects of information spread on social media occur at such a rapid pace.” Such inaccurate information could cause real world impact for millions of people. Whether it is about iD products or vaccines against COVID-19, harmful claims not backed up by sound evidence need to be called out. It is important and necessary.”

The company which sells idli and dosa batter, came out giving an official statement; “Some consumers have received a WhatsApp forward message carrying misleading, false and baseless information about iD using animal extracts in its products. Since the intensity of misinformation being spread is high this time around, we thought we should issue an official statement.”

“iD uses only vegetarian ingredients to make its products, iD Idly Dosa Batter is made from rice, urad dal, fenugreek and RO water only, which are 100% natural and vegetarian agri-commodities. There are no animal extracts used in any of our products,” the company clarified.

“We proudly manufacture healthy and authentic Indian products with no chemicals or preservatives inside our world-class, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities that fully comply with the Food Safety Management System,” the statement added.

Innovating and popularising south Indian cooking, the food start-up stemmed from struggles of it’s founder, PC Musthafa, son of a daily wage labourer, who had to drop out from school due to poverty.

A customer tweeted, “ID dosa batter is about as good as any other brand on the market, and it’s easy enough and way less expensive to just make the stuff at home. But this shows the depths to which the Sanghi IT factory will sink.”

On Wednesday, iD Fresh Food filed a complaint with the Bengaluru city police seeking action against the people who have campaigned targeting its products.

However, the food brand is gaining support from it’s customers.

Another customer tweeted, “I am more determined than ever to continue buying iD idli dosa batter and to tell everybody I know to use it. This disgusting propaganda must be defeated!.”

Several certifications have been awarded to the company including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Jaivik Bharat, under the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).