UPDATE 3 (OCT 2022)
The bottom line: Based on direct emails from Creekstone itself, we have a best-of-both-worlds confirmation that all Creekstone beef is both slaughtered and certified halal. See Update 2 below for more detail.
In 2022, the MuslimEater blog retired, so the original articles are no longer directly available for reference. However, the Web Archive links are currently active, and we have reproduced the original articles in PDF below for posterity. Below are these archive links and PDF downloads.
- Creekstone Beef Served in Top Restaurants Around America Is Halal (Saqib Shafi, 9 June 2014) | Link | PDF
- The Ultimate List of Restaurants that Carry Creekstone Farms Beef (Saqib Shafi, 9 June 2014) | Link | PDF
- How to Order Creekstone Farms Beef at a Restaurant in a Halal Manner (Saqib Shafi, 9 June 2014) | Link | PDF
- The Story of How Creekstone Farms Held Their Ground Against Islamophobia (Saqib Shafi, 9 June 2014) | Link | PDF
- Everything You Need To Know About Creekstone Farms Beef Being Halal (Saqib Shafi, 9 June 2015) | Link | PDF
- How People Reacted to the News that Creekstone is Halal (Saqib Shafi, 3 September 2014) | Link | PDF
- Is My Meal Really Halal When I Order Creekstone Beef? (Saqib Shafi, 3 September 2014) | Link | PDF
In addition, there is some debate on the Creekstone Farms slaughter method. Links to the debate are provided here:
- Multiple Scholars Agree Creekstone Farms Slaughter Method is Halal (Saqib Shafi, 3 September 2014) | Link | PDF
- Creekstone Halal Controversy (Anonymous, 5 September 2014) | Link | PDF
- Is Creekstone Farms Beef Slaughtered Using the Vertical Cut? (Saqib Shafi, 15 September 2014) | Link | PDF
- Creekstone Farms Beef update and proof of the Halal standards of HTO (Halal Transactions of Omaha, 12 September 2014) | Link | PDF
- Creekstone Farms Beef update and proof of the Halal standards of HTO (Halal Transactions of Omaha, 7 May 2020) | Link | PDF
My personal opinion is that the allegations made in the anonymous blog have no merit, since they are exhaustively refuted by both Saqib’s posts and the posts by HTO. A more recent controversy arose on Whatsapp in early 2021, which was also refuted (see Update 1 below for more details).
UPDATE 2 (NOV 2021)
This update shares additional messages directly from Creekstone that unequivocally state that all their beef products are indeed slaughtered and certified halal. Scroll down below for the original post from Jan 2020 and the update from May 2021.
We have a response from Creekstone! Thanks to Mairaj from the Halal.ist WhatsApp group – see these screenshots of emails from Courtney Capps, the Ecommerce support specialist at Creekstone.
Email 1 asks the question – even if some meat is not certified halal, was all meat slaughtered halal? Email 2 includes a first reply that says, all Creekstone beef is slaughtered halal. The follow-up question is also asked, is all beef certified halal? Email 3 has the second reply from Creekstone, which verifies that all Creekstone beef is also certified halal.
All of our beef products are slaughtered to Halal standards. […] All of our beef products are certified Halal.Courtney Capps, Ecommerce Support Specialist, Creekstone Farms
Remember – certification is a process by which a third party inspects to verify that beef is actually being slaughtered in halal fashion, according to some authority on fiqh. You can certainly disagree with that authority, in which case you would not trust that certification. Certification costs money, so it is understandable is a supplier would not want to pay for certification in some instances. The halal authority for Creekstone is Halal Transactions of Omaha and you can decide how authoritative they are for yourself – as Email 2 says, you can inquire directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit their website for more information.
Based on the above emails, however, we have a best of both worlds confirmation that all Creekstone beef, not just some, is both slaughtered and certified halal.
UPDATE 1 (MAY 2021)
This update addresses some debate on WhatsApp groups about whether ALL beef really is halal or not. The short version is: I found no evidence to assume it is not halal. Scroll down below for the original post from Jan 2020.
On several halal WhatsApp groups, including the WhatsApp group for Halal.ist (click this link to join), some discussion has arisen which casts some uncertainty on Creekstone.
The basic assumption until now has been that ALL of Creekstone beef is slaughtered in the same way, by a Muslim. However, it was known that Creekstone does not certify all of its beef product lines as Halal (via HTO). Only some of their beef product lines are marketed as halal, so Creekstone only pays for certification for those product lines. The assumption of all beef being slaughtered in the same manner is why generally, Creekstone beef is considered to be halal regardless of whether the actual beef product has been certified halal. For example, the beef used by Dog Haus comes in Creekstone boxes but these boxes are not explicitly marked as halal certified.
Keep in mind that the definition of halal is the method of slaughter. Certification does not make it halal – certification merely verifies that it is halal.
Here are the two WhatsApp messages that have caused the current controversy:
 Creekstone is now questionable. Previously it was understood that all their meat is halal even if it labeled as such. Recently it was brought to light by reliable sources (I previously mentioned in this group) that is not always the case and they have both halal and non-halal meat. The vendors/ restaurants have to specially ask for halal meat (which many do) for them to supply it to them. Otherwise you would have to assume that not every creekstone is halal unfortunately
 Salaams. This was based on a clubhouse discussion featuring Sameer Samsart (Sameer’s Eats) and Shahed Amanullah (Zabihah.com) who both shared first hand accounts of talking to restaurant (steak house) owners who order from creekstone directly as well as butcher inside creekstone facility on east coast. Sameer also took a tour inside and saw separate halal slaughter section and was told they only bring in the muslim “blessers” to do the islamic slaughter when they have halal orders to fill. They clearly stated that not ALL creekstone beef was slaughtered according to Islamic practice and only some based on orders they have. This is different from what the creekstone rep stated via email which I’m sure some of you have seen which stated that ALL beef is slaughtered as halal but not all are labeled or given the halal certificate. Thus there is clear doubt on the matter. Recommend to ask each respective restaurant if they order specifically halal meat from creekstone. Some steak houses do request it based on their demand. But Doubtful that all restaurants do that. So unfortunately we cannot assume all creekstone is halal.(Halal.ist WhatsApp group, May 13, 2021 – cross posted from Bay Area Halal Foodies and SoCal Halal)
This caused quite a stir, as one might expect!
The key point being made here is that it is possible that not all the beef is slaughtered by a Muslim. In response, Muslim blogger Zain provided a link to his extensive analysis from May 2020 in which he analyzed other critiques of Creekstone’s certification. This is an excellent post that goes into detail to prove that Creekstone does indeed have Muslim slaughtermen on payroll and that the methodology of Halal Transactions of Omaha (HTO) is Islamically mainstream (though there is always room for disagreement, you cannot be faulted for deciding that the certification is valid).
However, this article does not address the basic question. Is ALL beef slaughtered at Creekstone done so by a Muslim? If so, then whether beef from Creekstone is certified or not, does not matter. That’s the assumption we all had been making all this time.
There are conflicting anecdotes that go either way. For example, a message from one friend:
I came to know about this a few years ago at a restaurant in Vegas and they said the same thing. At which point I called creekstone to only get confirmation of the above.
and in reply, a message from another friend:
I was in Vegas the week before Ranadhan and actually I was told exactly the opposiote [sic]. Same Restaurant. The Restaurant told me it was Halal.
This confusion could stem from the same basic issue of assuming all beef is halal vs only knowing for sure that the certified beef is halal. Neither of the friends above was able to inspect the actual box from which their steaks came, to see if it had the halal certification.
People have asked Creekstone this question directly in the intervening years since the original Muslim Eater revelation. For example, see this screenshot of a response from Creekstone in May 2020, shared on WhatsApp, and also posted to Reddit:
This language used by Mrs. Every is boilerplate, as other people have also emailed and gotten near-identical replies. The key statement here is “All beef products here are slaughtered according to the same standards for certification.” This message was dated May 2020, but others have received similar messages earlier, in October 2018. So Creekstone has been consistent in their reply.
Today, May 14, 2021, I have emailed Creekstone with my own question, in which I have tried to be more direct:
Our understand [sic] was that all your beef products are slaughtered in the same manner, with a Muslim slaughterman, but the resulting meat is packaged into different product lines, some of which are then certified by Halal Transactions of Omaha, and other product lines which are not certified. However, all of Creekstone’s beef products are indeed slaughtered in the same manner by a Muslim slaughterman.
Is our understanding correct? Recently a rumor has arisen that says the opposite – that some of your beef products are not slaughtered in the Muslim manner. Accordingly, only the products explicitly certified as halal are the ones which can be definitively assumed to be halal, and any beef product from Creekstone not labeled as certified, may in fact not have been slaughtered by a Muslim.
Please advise as to which of these scenarios is correct. As you might imagine there is a very large degree of interest in the Muslim community, with repercussions for many restaurants who currently enjoy loyal Muslim clientele due to Creekstone sourcing of beef.
I am hoping for a response next week and will update the post. However, in the meantime, what do all of us post-Eid halal-hungry folks do?
I am not a scholar. I can only share my reasoning, with the understanding that it may change as new information comes to light.
First, the messages on WhatsApp are not first-person narratives. At least one person has directly contradicted them, pointing out that Creekstone doesn’t have any facilities on the East Coast (I have not verified this one way or the other). I have reached out to the individuals named in the messages and will likewise update this post if I get new information back.
Second, we have a reliable history of Creekstone stating that ALL their beef is slaughtered in the same manner, for halal certification. This is a direct source, if slightly outdated (the most recent being about a year ago, unless I get a reply to my inquiry).
Accordingly, I am personally inclined to continue to trust that all beef is halal at Creekstone. That could change overnight if and when I get a reply to any of my inquiries. However, at present, I don’t think that the burden of proof has been met. I would need first-hand confirmation. Otherwise, it is no more than an Internet rumor.
Your mileage may and surely does vary. I will update this post with any information I receive. My own thinking may evolve as well. But for now – I plan to enjoy a hot dog at Dog Haus this weekend. And I will keep Creekstone restaurants on The Halal Map for the time being.
Original Post (JAN 2020):
Creekstone Farms is certified by Halal Transactions of Omaha. All their beef is slaughtered according to the same halal method, but only beef packaged for explicit Halal branding is certified. Always call ahead to verify that they still use Creekstone beef (and for which dishes). However, meat at BBQ restaurants is often contaminated by preparation alongside pork, even when using halal origin beef.
MuslimEater.com arrived on the halal blogging scene in 2014 with an extensive post that first introduced Creekstone to the Muslim community. MuslimEater has summarized all the information about Creekstone into an omnibus titled, Everything You Need To Know About Creekstone Farms Beef Being Halal. There’s also a list of restaurants using Creekstone, but this list is dated and is not likely accurate today (but is useful as a starting point). As MuslimEater notes in that post:
This list is based off of searching for “Creekstone” on Google and Yelp. So it may not be totally up to date, is always subject to change, is usually for select beef items on menus only, and requires calling ahead to verify with each restaurant availability and no cross contamination of meats or use of alcohol in dishes.
For other posts by MuslimEater about Creekstone, including the story of how the company stood firm in the face of Islamophobia, see the other posts at MuslimEater.com.