What is HALAL (Lawful) and HARAM (Prohibited)?

Muslims commonly use two terms to describe every subject as Halal or Haraam. Halal is a Arabic word which means permitted, lawful with respect to which no restriction exists, and the doing and consuming of which the Law-giver, Allah has allowed.
Haram means the opposite-unlawful or forbidden that which the Lawgiver absolutely prohibited; anyone who engages in it is liable to incur the punishment of Allah in the Hereafter as well as a legal punishment in this world.
Halal and haram are universal terms that apply to all facets of life. However, we use these terms only in relation to food products, meat products, cosmetics, personal care products, food ingredients, and food contact materials. There are some things which are not clear are considered questionable or suspect and more information is needed to categorize them as Halal or Haram. If a muslim consumes Haram foods and materials, he would be sinful.

Foods containing ingredients such as gelatin, enzymes, emulsifiers, etc. are often referred to as Mashbooh, (which means doubtful or questionable) because the origin of these ingredients are not known. Many of the foods are considered Halal except the following, which are Haram with out doubt.

Swine/pork and its by-products
Animals improperly slaughtered or dead before slaughtering
Animals killed in the name of anyone other than ALLAH (God)
Alcohol and intoxicants
Carnivorous animals, birds of prey and land animals without external ears
Blood and blood by-products
Foods contaminated with any of the above products are Haram.

Why does a Food Company need Halal Certification?

There are millions of muslim consumers worldwide invariably wants to know before they buy food items whether they are manufactured according to Islamic shariah law and the ingredients are pure, the product is permissible and does not contain or composed any of impure substances as guided by islam.
Halal certified food products & ingredients help many food companies to increase their annual sales. Many muslim countries require that all food products & ingredients exporting to their countries have to be 'Halal Certified'.

Why Halal certification for Vegetarian foods?

The word Halal means "proper and permitted." Halal food is permitted by Allah (God) for Muslim consumption and includes all fruits, vegetables and grains. This was all the definition required for followers of Islam before the growth of processed foods.
The processing of foods makes many formerly "vegetarian" meals, breads, yogurts or cereals no longer considered halal Ingredients used in processed foods may contain hidden haram (Forbidden) components for example, these may be in colors, flavors or processing aids, as well as in sub-ingredients used. Many vegetarian-type items do not meet halal standards for example, cheese, marshmallows, candies, baked goods and yogurt may have enzyme and gelatin ingredients from animals which are not halal.

Many non-Muslims incorrectly believe that halal certification means nothing more than having a Muslim bless the plant and declare that the products are now halal. Some producers mistakenly believe that by not adding pork or any animal extract or alcohol ingredients, they can "self-certify" and label the product as halal for export or domestic sale.

Norms for Halal Certification of Chicken Processing Plant

1. Chicken birds should be live & healthy.
2. Stunning (if) 20volts to 30Volts for 15sec (Voltage & Time are in inverse proportionate). The stunned bird should be able to     be back in Normal condition within 3(three) minutes, if left un-slaughtered.
3. Slaughterer recites, DUA ‘BISMILLAHI ALLAHU AKBAR’ before slaughtering the bird with his own hands, making sure that the     bird was alive at the instant of being slaughtered.
4. Slaughterer needs minimum 2.5 seconds to recite the DUA. Incase of higher speed of the chain if one person does not get     the sufficient time to recite the dua, more than one person can be put on the job of slitting to perform the satisfactory job,     depending upon the speed of the chain.
5. The bleeding period (time between slaughter and going in the water bath) should not be less than 120sec (2minutes). The     bird should be ‘STILL’ (cool & calm) before going into the water bath.
6. Scalding Temperature–water bath temperature–maximum up to 64˚C. Scalding time (the bird in the hot water) - maximum     upto100 seconds. Scalding Temperature and Scalding Time are inversely proportionate.
7. Hygiene in processing area needs to be taken care.

Production area specially processing area should to be disinfected periodically and regularly.
All the machinery coming in contact with stuff should be regularly cleaned with appropriate disinfectant.
Workers need to be made aware of hygiene operation .Gloves booties (shoes) and hand disinfectants should    be provided.
Knife and other utensils should be sterilized with hot water (approximate 80˚C).
The hot water should be replaced periodically.
Final chicken should be free from pathogenic microbes like Salmonella, E.Coli and staphylococci etc.

8. To make sure that the norms are being followed by the Processing Unit, the agency has to appoint his
    representative(s) in the Plant.
9. The representative of agency will be responsible to implement the norms and cooperation from the unit will be mandatory.
10.In case of more than eight hours of workings, more than one supervisor will be appointed. Working of a supervisor
     will be maximum eight hours.

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