Halal Meat & Poultry Certification
Halal Certification is most pertinent in meat and poultry due to the specific requirements for meat and poultry to be considered halal. Halal literally means “permissible” in Arabic. It refers to food that adheres to Islamic law as it is defined within the Koran. Animals must be slaughtered a certain way in order to be considered halal. When not slaughtered with this technique, the meat of the animals is considered forbidden, or haram.
How Are Animals Slaughtered Halal?
To be slaughtered halal, the Islamic form of killing animals involves the use of a cut through the windpipe, carotid artery, and jugular vein. The animals that are thus slaughtered must be alive and healthy at the time of the killing.
The halal method of slaughter requires that you must drain all the blood from the carcass. A trained practicing Muslim will recite a very short blessing during the process, known as tasmiya. The process must be as painless as possible and be conducted with adherence to good animal welfare practices.
Why Slaughter Halal?
The purpose of the Islamic instruction to slaughter halal is to perform the process quickly and with minimal suffering. If you are performing the slaughter, Islam clearly instructs you to slaughter swiftly and with mercy for the animal.
The requirement of draining blood from the carcass allows for the removal of toxins, harmful bacteria, and germs. This has led to many non-muslim halal consumers to believe the taste of the meat to be more wholesome and tender.
Halal Slaughter and Animal Welfare
Animal welfare is another important part of Islam that has been around since long before the movements of animal rights activists. Farmers in Islam have held close the instruction to treat animals humanely and to feed them diets that are proper. Abuse of animals is strictly forbidden and the lives of animals are only to be taken in a dignified manner.
Before the halal slaughter of a bird or animal there are certain aspects to keep in mind:
- Practice mercy from the start to the finish
- Do not slaughter one animal in front of other animals
- Sharpen the knife to prevent the animal from suffering from prolonged pain
Many facilities mechanically slaughter their chickens as a way of expediting the process; however, American Halal Foundation prefers chickens to be slaughtered by hand in order to assure that every chicken is blessed at the moment of slaughter and is given the proper respect.
Origins of Halal
In the Koran, Muslims have been commanded by Allah to eat only food that is wholesome, pure, and permissible, fit to be eaten by humans. Many mentions are made in the Koran to direct the faithful in how to eat properly. The holy book directs the basic requirements of the ritual means of slaughtering, known as Zibah. It forbids carrion, animals that are suffering ailments, and animals killed by strangling or a headlong fall. As pork is forbidden meat, halal slaughtering has also been instructed to avoid areas of porcine slaughter.
Many restaurants and stores are including halal meats in their selections to better cater to the fast-growing Muslim portion of the population. Halal slaughtering is praised for its devotion to reducing pain and suffering in the animals being slaughtered as much as possible. The swift cut with the keenest of blades to the jugular, carotid, and windpipe makes halal a merciful and fast ending for an animal that has been treated well in life.
If your Meat & Poultry business is interested in halal certification, contact the American Halal Foundation today at +1 (630) 759-4981 for more information on our efficient three-step process.