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Guidelines in production methods for halal food

Guidelines in production methods for halal food


Halal food and the production methods


Today, the majority of food is produced using industrial methods, starting from the first step of its creation. For this reason, the associated sector is now also known as the food industry industry. Large quantities of food are produced in factories to ensure permanent availability. Furthermore, numerous product lines are produced in parallel or in succession in the same factory. This has an effect on the manufactured products and is expressed, for example, by the information "May contain traces of nuts" on food packaging, even though the desired product does not contain nuts. The keyword here is cross-contamination. This refers to the unwanted transfer of impurities to objects, items or similar. In the case of food, for example, this would be the contamination of halal fruit gums with pork gelatine.


Production process: Animal cruelty prohibited in halal food


Not only the selection of the animal species, species-appropriate husbandry and dignified treatment and gentle, painless and stress-free slaughter are criteria for classifying a product as permitted (halal), there are also numerous factors to consider when processing the raw materials. For example, it is not very helpful if all the rules are followed up to the slaughter of a cow and cross-contamination with pork fat occurs during the subsequent processing of the raw product. In order to avoid such errors, there are also guidelines for industrial production processes from various certifiers. Although these guidelines are based on the Koran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (s), they must be constantly updated and reviewed on the basis of existing processing techniques and individual circumstances.


Guidelines for the production of halal food


If a permitted animal species has been selected for the manufacture of a product and slaughtered in accordance with Islamic guidelines, care should be taken during processing to ensure that

  • the production line of halal products is separated from other production lines or at least parts of the corresponding factory
  • all machines are cleaned and dry and employees on the halal production line have no contact with non-halal food.
  • Halal meat is not contaminated by contact with pork or other non-halal foods at any stage from slaughter, transportation, storage and processing.
  • all additives comply with halal guidelines
  • the packaging process also does not allow cross-contamination with non-permitted (haram) products[1].

Listing all the aspects sounds very abstract. How does this affect day-to-day production? Which products are affected?


Haribo sweets without pork gelatine as an example


Fruit gums are a good example of the criteria listed above. While some producers have completely converted their product lines to vegetarian or vegan raw materials, others specifically produce separate halal products . For example, whilesome classic Haribo fruit gums contain pork gelatine, which is not suitable for halal classification, a separate plant in Turkeyproducesexclusively halal products. In this special plant, only halal Haribo sweets are producedwithout pork gelatine , so that there is no risk of halal and non-halal sweets coming into contact with each other. This means that no cross-contamination is permitted. Only certified halal raw materials are used for halal production .


These considerations can also be applied to fast food. Many large fast food chains have vegetarian or even vegan products in their range, which could in principle be consumed by Muslims. It is important to ensure that employees have changed their gloves beforehand when filling a sandwich or making a burger, that they use contamination-free knives or grills and that the food is stored separately. If these aspects are not observed, the corresponding offerings can be classified as non-halal (haram). 


1Reproduced as appropriate

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