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The 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 requirements.


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 the General Standard for the Labeling 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.


2.1 Halal Food means food permitted under the Islamic Law and should fulfil the

following conditions:

The Codex General Guidelines for the use of the term "Halal" were adopted by the Codex Alimetarius 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.

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

which have been previously used for non-halal foods provided that proper

cleaning procedures, according to Islamic requirements, have been observed.



The term halal may be used for foods which 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 forbidden to be killed in Islam, i.e., ants, bees and woodpecker birds.

g) Animals which 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.


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

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.


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



4.1 When a claim is made that a 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 no be used in ways which 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.

Copyright 2010 American Halal Foundation (USA)