Q:

How do foods get certified to be considered Halal?

A:

Quick Answer

To receive Halal certification, food producers must work with an organization such as the American Halal Foundation or the ISWA Hala Certification Department. Organization representatives ensure that the food is sourced, slaughtered, processed, packaged, stored and distributed in accordance with Islamic dietary standards.

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How do foods get certified to be considered Halal?
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Full Answer

The Halal certification process begins with an application, in which the food producer lists all of the foods it makes and the ingredients in each item. The application must also indicate the foods for which it is seeking Halal certification.

If the application moves forward, certification officials visit the facility to ensure that it complies with Islamic law. Foods must not be prohibited; alcohol, carnivorous animals and pork cannot be Halal. If the facility also processes these foods, the official verifies that they do not come into contact with the Halal foods at any time.

Officials also examine the slaughtering process to ensure that the animals are killed in accordance with Islamic practices. Animals must be alive; carrion is not allowed. The person slaughtering the animals must be a Muslim, and must dedicate the animal to Allah before its death. Afterward, the facility is required to adhere to strict procedures for cleaning and processing the food. During packaging, storage and shipping, facilities must prove that Halal foods are kept separate from other foods whenever possible.

To complete the certification process, companies must complete all paperwork, set up a Halal assurance system and comply with spot checks.

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