What does Term “Halal” Means

The term “Halal” comes from Arabic and means allowed, permissible. According to Islamic law, it is a concept for cleanliness and purity that includes all things and actions that have been permitted for Muslims. “Halal” is the opposite of “haram,” which means forbidden, not permitted. The basis of these classifications is the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Mohammad.

Islam is a holistic way of life, so the concept of “Halal” and “haram” is applied not only to human behavior but also to the consumption of food and other products such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

In summary, the Islamic dietary rules can be explained as follows: Anything that was not clearly forbidden in the Qur’an and Sunnah is generally allowed. It is expressly forbidden to consume the following foods and ingredients, considered haram:

  1. Meat from pork and its by-products, e.g., gelatin
  2. Animals not slaughtered under the Islamic rite or slaughtered in the name of any other than Allah.
  3. Carrion, blood, and its by-products
  4. Most predators, birds of prey, reptiles, and insects
  5. Narcotics and Intoxicating substances in any amounts, e.g., alcohol
  6. Foods contaminated with any of the above products

Whether meat products are “Halal” also depends on the method of slaughter or death. Without exception, ritual Islamic slaughter should be carried out in such a way that the animal is not unnecessarily inflicted with pain, suffering, damage, or severe anxiety. The animal should be treated dignified and respectful, it should be separated from other animals, knives and blood should not be visible to it. A single, rapid incision, which cuts through the cervical arteries, veins, and trachea, leads to immediate death and ensures almost no-residue bleeding. According to the common opinion of Islamic scholars, the use of narcotics is allowed, provided that it does not lead to death.

Halal Certification Procedure

In Europe, ECC Halal assists applying companies fully in obtaining the Halal certificate for their products and services, from the completion of their application all through issuing the certification. The certification process starts with assisting producers to adapt their chain of production in order to enable Halal[1].

Application

  1. An application for Halal certification via: www.ecchalal.com;
  2. The request of the company- and contact information
  3. Sending the applicant Halal relevant information and the procedure of Halal Certification,
  4. Sending the applicant, a questionnaire and a concept contract
  5. Receiving the proper documentation and a filled questionnaire
  6. Pre-assessment of the Halal status of the auditee

Auditing

  1. Signing a Halal Certification agreement between the applicant and the certification body
  2. Initiating the Audit
  3. Preparing Audit activities
  4. Conducting the Audit activities
  5. Sample collecting and verifying information
  6. Preparing audit conclusions and an audit report.

Certification

  1. Presentation of the audit report to the Ulama Committee
  2. Approve and decision by Ulama Committee
  3. Presentation of the report of Ulama Committee to the Decision Committee
  4. If appropriate decision and issuance of a Halal certificate
  5. Generate an invoice after receipt of payment Sending the Halal certificate

General Guidelines for use of the term “Halal”

The Codex alimentations commission has framed general guidelines for use of the term “Halal” in food labeling, this guideline is given hereunder in the public interest to meet the product on international standards. There is no personal benefit in providing this guideline on this website, this website belongs to trust which is a nonprofit organization

Codex Alimentarius Commission accepts that there may be minor differences in opinion in the interpretation of lawful and unlawful animals and in the slaughter act, according to the different Islamic Schools of Thought. As such, these general guidelines are subjected to the interpretation of the appropriate authorities of the importing countries. However, the certificates granted by the religious authorities of the exporting country should be accepted in principle by the importing country, except when the latter provides justification for other specific requirements1.

1 SCOPE
1.1 These guidelines recommend measures to be taken on the use of Halal claims in food labeling.
1.2 These guidelines apply to the use of the term halal and equivalent terms in claims as defined in General Standard for the Labelling of Prepackaged Foods and include its use in trademarks, brand names, and business names.
1.3 These guidelines are intended to supplement the Codex General Guidelines on Claims and do not supersede any prohibition contained therein.

2 DEFINITION
2.1 Halal Food means food permitted under the Islamic Law and should fulfill the following conditions:
2.1.1 does not consist of or contain anything which is considered to be unlawful according to Islamic Law;
2.1.2 has not been prepared, processed, transported, or stored using any appliance or facility that was not free from anything unlawful according to Islamic Law; and
2.1.3 has not in the course of preparation, processing, transportation, or storage been in direct contact with any food that fails to satisfy 2.1.1 and 2.1.2 above.
2.2 Notwithstanding Section 2.1 above:
2.2.1 halal food can be prepared, processed, or stored in different sections or lines within the same premises where non-halal foods are produced, provided that necessary measures are taken to prevent any contact between halal and non-halal foods;
2.2.2 halal food can be prepared, processed, transported, or stored using facilities that have been previously used for non-halal foods provided that proper cleaning procedures, according to Islamic requirements, have been observed.

3 CRITERIA FOR THE USE OF THE TERM “Halal”
3.1 Lawful Food
The term halal may be used for foods that are considered lawful. Under the Islamic Law, all sources of food are lawful except the following sources, including their products and derivatives which are considered unlawful:
3.1.1 Food of Animal Origin
(a) Pigs and boars.
(b) Dogs, snakes, and monkeys.
(c) Carnivorous animals with claws and fangs such as lions, tigers, bears, and other similar animals.
(d) Birds of prey with claws such as eagles, vultures, and other similar birds.
(e) Pests such as rats, centipedes, scorpions, and other similar animals.
(f) Animals are forbidden to be killed in Islam i.e., ants, bees, and woodpecker birds.
(g) Animals that are considered repulsive generally like lice, flies, maggots, and other similar animals.
(h) Animals that live both on land and in water such as frogs, crocodiles, and other similar animals.
(i) Mules and domestic donkeys.
(j) All poisonous and hazardous aquatic animals.
(k) Any other animals not slaughtered according to Islamic Law.
(l) Blood.
3.1.2 Food of Plant Origin
Intoxicating and hazardous plants except where the toxin or hazard can be eliminated during processing.
3.1.3 Drink
(a) Alcoholic drinks.
(b) All forms of intoxicating and hazardous drinks.
3.1.4 Food Additives
All food additives derived from Items 3.1.1, 3.1.2, and 3.1.3.

3.2 Slaughtering
All lawful land animals should be slaughtered in compliance with the rules laid down in the Codex Recommended Code of Hygienic Practice for Fresh Meat and the following requirements:
3.2.1 The person should be a Muslim who is mentally sound and knowledgeable of the Islamic slaughtering procedures.
3.2.2 The animal to be slaughtered should be lawful according to Islamic law.
3.2.3 The animal to be slaughtered should be alive or deemed to be alive at the time of slaughtering.
3.2.4 The phrase “Bismillah” (In the Name of Allah) should be invoked immediately before the slaughter of each animal.
3.2.5 The slaughtering device should be sharp and should not be lifted off the animal during the slaughter act.
3.2.6 The slaughter act should sever the trachea, esophagus, and main arteries and veins of the neck region.

3.3 Preparation, Processing, Packaging, Transportation, And Storage
All food should be prepared, processed, packaged, transported, and stored in such a manner that it complies with Section 2.1 and 2.1 above and the Codex General Principles on Food Hygiene and other relevant Codex Standards.

4 Additional Labelling Requirements
4.1 When a claim is made that food is halal, the word halal or equivalent terms should appear on the label.
4.2 In accordance with the Codex General Guidelines on Claims, claims on halal should not be used in ways that could give rise to doubt about the safety of similar food or claims that halal foods are nutritionally superior to, or healthier than, other foods

NOTE: – The Codex General Guidelines for the Use of the Term “Halal” were adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission at its 22nd Session, 1997. They have been sent to all Member Nations and Associate Members of FAO and WHO as an advisory text, and it is for individual governments to decide what use they wish to make of the Guidelines.

Quality control norms implemented by ECC halal

ECC Halal uses a standardized certification process with defined Halal Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for every single step of the certification proceeding. These international quality standards make it easy to implement industry-specific Halal standards, as well as to compare Halal policies and other industry standards1.

ECC Halal processes comply with the following quality control norms:

  1. Halal Assurance System
  2. ECC Halal Food Safety Standard (HFSS V.1.2018)
  3. ECC Halal Materials Safety Standard (HMSS V.1.2018)
  4. FSSC22000 (Food Safety System Certification) checklist
  5. Malaysian Standard on Halal Food (MS 1500:2009)
  6. Implementation of other international Halal Standards (LPPOM MUI – GSO 993:2015)
  7. And more

Halal product and service categories

Category codesCategoriesExamples of sectors
AFarming 1 (Animals)animals: fish; egg production; milk production; beekeeping; fishing; hunting;
BFarming 2 (Plants)fruits; vegetables; cereals; spices; horticultural products
CProcessing 1 (Perishable animal products)includes all activities after farming, e.g., animal slaughtering, poultry, eggs, dairy and fish products
DProcessing 2 (Perishable vegetable products)fresh fruits’ fresh juices; preserved fruits; fresh vegetables; preserved vegetables
EProcessing 3 (Products with long shelf life at room temperature)canned products; biscuits; snacks; oil; drinking water; beverages; pasta; flour; sugar; salt
FFeed productionanimal feed; fish feed
GFood Servicehotels; restaurants
HDistributionretail outlets; shops; wholesalers
IServiceswater supply; cleaning; sewage; waste disposal; product development, process and equipment; veterinary services, Islamic financial services
JTransport and storagetransport and storage
KEquipment manufacturingIndustrial equipment; vending machines
LChemical and Biochemical manufacturingFood additives; dietary supplements; cleaning agents; processing aids, microorganisms
MPackaging and wrapping material manufacturingpackaging and wrapping material
NOther materials manufacturingcosmetics, textile, leather products etc.

[1] European Certification Center for Halal (ecchalal.com)

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