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Everything you need to know about the Halal certification

Posted by Bertrand Duteil on 13/10/2016


With more than 1.6 billion muslim consumers around the world, the trade of halal food and goods is a steadily growing market. More and more suppliers have to deal with such products and adapt their offer. For consumers, the identification and labelling of halal products from producers and traders are a necessity. Nevertheless, such an identification is only possible with a transparent and clear traceability of every purchased material and manufactured goods (such as food additives) used during the manufacturing process.

Do you work in the food industry and need evidences from your suppliers about halal conform goods or halal conform companies? Here is the most important information about halal certification and how to apply it to your document and quality management.

What means Halal?

The term “Halal” comes from the arabic “حلال‎‎” (ḥalāl) and means “permissible”. The Quran classifies food and goods in different categories such as “halal” (permitted) or “haram” (forbidden). To follow this rule, it is essential for consumers to identify if the product they are buying in retail has been produced according to the Quran rules. A clear labelling is only possible when the products are identified as halal during the entire manufacturing process and the trade of purchased raw materials.

What are the criteria for a halal certification?

Since the definition of “halal” or “haram has no real legal basis, the specification and compliance of those requirements are not consistent. There are nevertheless some basic presetting:

  • The slaughter of the processed animal must be made following the Quran rules
  • The product should not contain any form of pork meat (according to the dietary rules, the use of pork meat at any step of the preparation of halal food is forbidden)
  • In most of the case, the use of alcohol (even as cleaning agent) is also problematic.

The absence of standard rules for the production and manufacturing of halal products leads to the existence of a multitude of halal certifications and labels. The criteria for halal are not only valid for the food industry, but also for food additives, packaging materials and chemicals. This is the reason why the criteria are not only focusing on the manufacturing process and the materials used but on the entire production facility, also targeting issues such as the cleaning procedure for machines.

Where can I find recognized certification centers?

There are several recognized certification centers active internationally, each with its own certificate and logos attesting an halal activity, such as:

  • Control Office of Halal Slaughtering
  • Halal Quality Control (H.Q.C.)
  • Halal International Consultancy
  • World Halal Union (WHU)

You can find here an overview of further national and international certification centers.

How can I get an halal certification?

Generally, a certification will be released after a successful audit. As for other certifications, an independent organization will be in charge of the certification and an independent auditor will review the certifying company. During the audit, samples can be sent to laboratories to attest the absence of pork and documentation can be requested to check the products used for the cleaning of the production location. Once the control has been passed successfully, the company will receive its halal certification. The certificate is generally valid for one year and a new audit is necessary after the expiration of the label.

Which data are necessary to get an halal certification?

  • Name of the certification
  • Name of the certifying company
  • Name and signature of the certification center accredited agent
  • Date of the issuing
  • Validity period
  • Identification number of the certificate
  • Name and address of the certification center

Further information:

You regularly request halal certification and other certificate from your suppliers and need to efficiently manage your supplier and product documentation? Register now for an online presentation and learn more about how ecratum can support you with your document management.

Click HERE to register for a free online-demonstration

Tags: supplier documentation, Certifications