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Halal Concept in the Consumable Products



Doubtful about the food quality appear in every aspects beginning from the ingredient, processing and handling, “from farm to table”. Recently, the issue of Halal food has attracted public attention as well as Malaysia’s government especially on the Halalan Toyibbah issues. Further, Malaysia’s government has decided for Malaysia to be the Halal center or Halal-hub in the region as well as international.

The Halal standard that guards the Halal concept is crucial to control the safety and quality of consumable materials from the process of production to consumption. Consumable materials could range from food, drinks, cosmetics, medicine, detergents, soaps, shampoo, and deodorants to antiperspirants for human beings, and feed for animals.

To be considered religiously lawful and thus certified as Halal, the consumable products must fulfill the following requirements, such as:
1. Does not contain any parts or products of non-Halal animals (animals which are not allowed to be eaten by Muslims);
2. Does not contain any parts or products of Halal animals (such as cattle, goats, sheep and poultry) that were not slaughtered according to Islamic law (Shariah);
3. Does not contain any ingredients that are Najs (filthy or unclean) according to Islamic law.
4. Is safe and not harmful (does not contain physical, chemical, or biological/ microbial hazards;
5. Is not prepared, processed or manufactured using equipment that is contaminated with things that are Najs according to Shariah.
6. The ingredients do not contain any human parts or its derivates.
7. During its preparation, processing, packaging, storage or transportation, the product is physically separated from any other product that does not meet the requirements stated above or any other things that have been decreed as Najs by Shariah.

Having understood what Halal is, a person involved in Halal production should always be cautious of Mashbooh (dubious) ingredients or be attentive to areas of primary concern to establish that the Halal concept covers the entire supply chain.

Importantly, one of the daily consumable products - Meat Products should also ascertain the following:
1. What type of animal is being slaughtered (Halal/ non-Halal).
2. The type of feed the animal was being fed before slaughter: What were the raw materials of feed formulation made of? Does it contain protein supplements of things that are Najs according to Shariah such as from porcine origin, meat from dead animals as leftover from slaughterhouses, and animal filth such as urine and manure; and does it contain residues of antibiotics and growth hormones?
3. The slaughtering method; when the slaughtering process is undertaken in modern slaughterhouses, stunning versus no stunning, manual versus mechanical slaughter, cutting the three or four vessels in the neck, and for some Muslim schools, facing Mecca and the use of iron knives, as well as meeting any other requirements of the importing country; and finally, which is very important.
4. Logistics: the implementation of a Halal system including isolated storage, and ensuring that the Halal process is not contaminated by non-Halal processes should they occur within the same vicinity).

Suppliers should eliminate animal by-products from ruminant feed. It would be wise for Muslim communities worldwide to address this issue to formulate clear guidelines, and Muslim countries to address the issue at a governmental level and make their meat and feed guidelines clear and ensure that those guidelines are fully implemented. Observation of the complete Halal meat chain should be carried out in collaboration with a third party which is an International approved Halal certifier for the purpose of creating a perfect Halal certification process.


References:
Muhammad Munir Chaudry & Hani Mansour Mosa Al-Mazeedi, Animal Feed and Halal Meat – The Wicked Truth, Halal Journal, 2010 Jan/ Feb.
Shahidan Shafie, Halal Certification: an international marketing issues and challenges, University Malaya, Working paper.
Hayati @ Habibah Abdul Talib, Khairul Anuar Mohd Ali and Khairur Rijal Jamaludin, Quality Assurance in Halal Food Manufacturing in Malaysia: A Preliminary Study, Proceedings of International Conference on Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering (ICME2008), 21 - 23 May 2008, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

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