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
1.2 These guidelines apply to the use of the term halal and equivalent terms in
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
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
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
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
within the same premises
where non-halal foods are produced, provided that
necessary measures are
taken to prevent any contact between halal and non-
2.2.2 Halal food can be prepared, processed, transported or stored using
which have been
previously used for non-halal foods provided that proper
according to Islamic requirements, have been observed.
3. CRITERIA FOR USE OF THE TERM "HALAL"
3.1 LAWFUL FOOD
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
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
g) Animals which are considered repulsive generally like lice, flies, maggots
h) Animals that live both on land and in water such as frogs, crocodiles and
i) Mules and domestic donkeys.
j) All poisonous and hazardous aquatic animals.
k) Any other animals not slaughtered according to Islamic Law.
3.1.2 Food of Plant Origin
Intoxicating and hazardous plants except where the toxin or hazard can be eliminated
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
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
3.2.4 The phrase "Bismillah" (In the Name of Allah) should be invoked
before the slaughter of
3.2.5 The slaughtering device should be sharp and should not be lifted off the
during the slaughter act.
3.2.6 The slaughter act should sever the trachea, esophagus and main arteries
veins of the neck region.
3.3 PREPARATION, PROCESSING, PACKAGING, TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE
All food should be prepared, processed, packaged, transported and stored in
manner that it complies with the Section 2.1 and 2.1 above and the Codex
Principles on Food Hygiene and other relevant Codex Standards.
4. ADDITIONAL LABELLING REQUIREMENT
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.