In Arabic “Halal” means lawful or permitted. Halal is a part of Sharia law that guides the actions and behavior of Muslims similar to Kosher that contains the guiding principles of Jews. In the context of food, Halal is the dietary standard prescribed by Koran and practiced by Muslims all over the world. It is the religious duty of every Muslims to ensure that all foods, as well as non-food items like cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are halal. Frequently, these products contain animal by-products or other ingredients that are not permissible for Muslims to eat or use on their bodies.
The market size of the Halal industry is about $1.2 trillion US dollars (Global Halal Congress, 2010). Halal certification is not mandatory, but companies certified to Halal standard have a competitive advantage, particularly when the population of Muslims is on the rise globally (1.6 globally). Halal certification imposes stringent sanitation requirements complimentary to the HACCP program.
- Halal foods do not contain components that are not permitted by Sharia law.
- Produced using equipment or machinery that have been cleaned according to Islamic law.
All foods are considered Halal except the following:
- Alcoholic drinks and intoxicants
- Enzymes (microbial enzymes are permissible)
- Gelatin from non-Halal source (fish gelatin is Halal)
- Lard and tallow
- Non-Halal animal shortening
- Pork products
- Carnivorous animals, birds of prey and certain other animals
- Non-Halal animal fat
What is Halal Certification?
Halal certification is a process by which a recognized organization certifies products and or services offered by a company meet the specified halal standard. In the case of halal food certification, it follows the “farm to table” approach. This provides consumer confidence and prevents any confusion about the halal status of a product. Halal certificates are given to companies that meet the defined criteria.
Halal product certification system also involves testing and inspection activities. It is important to ensure the body offering the service (certification, testing, and consultancy) is competent and complies with stipulated requirements.
Perry Johnson Registrar Food safety Inc., offers three types of Halal certifications.
- Products certification: Individual products can be certified; this includes the production process and ingredients used in the manufacturing of that particular product.
- Facility certification: Facilities producing products according to the Halal certification standards can also be certified.
- Retail premises such as restaurants can also be certified to assure food prepared and sold from the retail business is halal.
What sectors can PJRFSI certify to Halal?
PJRFSI has the expertise to certify the following sectors (facilities and products):
- Food manufacturing
- Food service (catering, restaurants)
- Cosmetics and Personal care
- Animal feed and ingredients
- Slaughter houses
- Animal welfare
Food manufacturing: This certification is applicable to activities encompassing facilities and companies responsible for manufacturing food products and managing product formulation, procurement, receiving, production, storage and distribution through the organization and the supply chain in compliance with the general principles of Sharia.
Food Service: This certification is applicable to activities encompassing places and institutions responsible for any food sold or prepared outside the home and managing procurement, receiving, preparation, storage and dispensing food through the organization and ensuring the food supply chain is in compliance with the general principles of Sharia and international food safety management system.
Cosmetics and Personal Care: This certification is applicable to activities encompassing facilities and companies responsible for cosmetics and personal care production and managing product formulation, procurement, receiving, production, storage and distribution through the organization and the supply chain in compliance with the general principles of Sharia.
Logistics: This certification is applicable to activities encompassing warehouse, transportation and terminals and managing movement, storage and handling of both food and non-food materials including livestock through the organization and supply chain is in compliance with the general principles of Sharia and international food safety management system.
Animal Feed and Ingredients: This certification covers all activities related to the safety of feed ingredients from procurement, supplier approval, transportation, production and storage and handling.
Slaughtering and Processing: This certification is applicable to companies responsible for any poultry, bovine and ovine slaughtering and processing and managing procurement, receiving, pre-slaughter, slaughter and post-slaughter, storage and distribution of Halal meat and the supply chain in compliance with the general principles of Sharia.
Animal Welfare: This certification covers all activities in managing animal health, and welfare, rearing of animals, handling, and transportation and penning under Islamic principles of animal welfare in compliance with the principles of Sharia.
Pharmaceuticals: This certification is applicable to activities encompassing facilities and companies responsible for manufacturing and managing pharmaceutical product formulation, procurement, receiving, production, storage and distribution through the organization and the supply chain in compliance with the general principles of Sharia.
PJRFSI and International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHIA)
Halal certification by PJRFSI is recognized and approved by the International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance), a global organization widely respected for its strict adherence to Sharia law and principles.
The International Halal Integrity Alliance is an international non-profit organization (located in Malaysia) created to uphold the integrity of the halal market concept in global trade through recognition, collaboration and membership. It is a non-government organization (NGO) that can also provide accreditation to certification bodies in addition to other national accreditation bodies.
Advantages of Halal Certification
- Provides assurance that products and/or facilities comply with Halal requirements
- Enhanced marketability of products
- Guaranteed acceptance of products by the Muslim community globally