HYGIENE & QUALITY HALAL RULES CHARTER ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’
’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ is a Polish service company the aim of which is to control and ensure the compliance
of ritual slaughter as well as the identification of halal meat products. Its vocation is to provide control over slaughterhouses and meat processing plants as well as the certification of products that are to
be consumed by Muslim community.
’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ established a halal rules charter of hygiene and quality which fulfils basic rules of Islam, Polish law and international regulations.
The ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ rules charter of hygiene and quality contains a description and obligation to follow the halal products control procedure in order for Muslims to be sure that the products they consume meet the principles of their religion.
Meat processing plants willing to slaughter and produce products meeting halal rules are obliged to:
– observe the rules provided for in ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’s charter;
– inform customers of the conditions of halal production meeting the requirements specified in the
– inform and train their employees on the conditions stipulated in this charter;
– ensure the best conditions for inspection, identification and certification for ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ inspectors;
– keep animals in an appropriate trap before slaughter;
– meet the requirements concerning personal hygiene and employees’ clothing;
– prevent sanitary risks;
– keep the rooms clean.
In Islam, the inspection and certification of halal products is based on statements and testimony.
Every entity willing to produce or sell halal products must refer to a halal certification body able to control and respects halal requirements.
The charter encourages business entities to pursue a policy of respect for Muslim consumers and animal well-being.
HALAL CHARTER IMPLEMENTATION AND APPLICATION PROCEDURE
I. HALAL QUALITY AUDIT
An halal quality audit of the production process is carried out by an authorized person from a religious institution and covers the following elements :
origin of animals, delivery method, place of slaughter, cutting hall, processing, packing, storage
of raw materials, half – finished products and the final product, and shipment.
After the completion of an halal quality audit, a report is prepared and submitted to ’’Al-Haq-Halal’ organization and a religious institution for approval.
II. HALAL ATTESTATION
The procedure of issuing a attestation of a facility’s readiness for halal slaughter and production
1. The halal attestation is a document confirming that a given facility meets all the requirements concerning the initiation of slaughter or production in accordance with the Islamic law.
2. The attestation is issued after a positive completion and approval of an halal quality audit by a religious institution.
3. The attestation can be cancelled if, after an unexpected inspection, the report will cover
information on omissions related to the facility’s adaptation to the production meeting the rules
and requirements of halal charter.
4. The attestation is drawn up in Arabic, Polish, English or French is issued in two counterparts,
i.e. the original and copy.
III. HALAL CERTIFICATION
Products classified as halal are subject to the certification by ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ organization.
The post-slaughter control and halal stamping
Control is a laborious and difficult duty. It ensures the observance of the Islamic ritual used for food.
Everything begins with the selection of a ritual slaughterer, who must be entitled to perform legal ritual slaughter and the selection of a controller, who is also responsible for the approval of ritual slaughter
and for the supervision and constant monitoring of halal meat, from the slaughter until the packing
of a ready product.
The control is necessary in order to check the species and condition of animals that are to be sacrificed, especially the sacrifice method.
The controller must be Muslim. The person appointed for this position due to his features of character is a trustworthy, responsible, committed and disciplined person. His task is to ensure the observance of Islamic ritual slaughter, to mark the halal meat by means of stamping or tagging and to track its processing and marketing. Finally, the controller submits a report on the slaughter, packing, processing and marketing, which is presented to the manager responsible for the control at the end of each week.
Control devices are the sole property of the controller (labels, badges…). He is the only person responsible for their management and use. They are stored in a room or a cabinet designed for this purpose, and the keys are kept exclusively by the controller.
There are the following control devices:
– a control form which must contain the data of a production company or a slaughterhouse, operation
date, arrival and departure time, production and control method, ID codes (certification) used, the
controller’s signature and the company’s or guest slaughterhouses’ stamp;
– stamps of different sizes with the logo of the controlling body;
– edible ink for stamps of a specific colour approved by a veterinary service;
– numbered labels with the logo of an inspection body, difficult to forge;
– tapes in different colours with the logo of an inspection body.
It is unthinkable to certify that a product is halal when there is no control over its production.
That is why certification is invalid without any prior inspection.
Halal certification involves not only the placement of a stamp or label of a controlling body on a product. Packages are sealed with a special tape. A “Halal Certificate” is valid only for specific goods that have been produced under the control with specific date. It must contain information such as the number and kind of packages and the total weight. It provides the guarantee that the product undoubtedly comes from ritual slaughter.
The certification process is strict if it is based on the following principles:
– selection of an animal,
– skills of the ritual slaughterer,
– strict and rigorous control,
– the possibility of tracking halal products. Inspectors must perform their duties at all stages of
production. Nothing can be done without their presence.
– certification devices are the sole property of the controllers. They are the only people responsible for
The controller must undergo medical examination by an occupational medicine physician, as stipulated by applicable regulations. He must fulfil its mission in the control of cleanliness and hygiene of the environment. He must respect and obey the halal slaughter hygiene standards. In the event of a failure, he must notify the person responsible for this situation.
Before the initiation of the control, the controller must ensure the cleanliness of his body and clothes, and must be dressed in accordance with sanitary regulations (a cap, face mask, white shirt, white shoes…).
The controller must take care of personal hygiene and clothing. Ill employees (with purulent wounds on hands, discharge from the nose or eyes) can handle halal products only in disposable gloves and face masks, in order to prevent the meat contamination.
It is forbidden to smoke in closed rooms and places where meat is stored, or in any other areas and corridors through which fresh meat is transported.
HALAL CERTIFICATE ISSUE PROCEDURE
1. The halal certificate is a document issued each time for a particular production batch. A plant that holds a certificate confirming its adaptation to the production meeting halal charter requirements applies to ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ for the issue of a halal certificate for a particular production batch. (An application for the issue of halal certificates must also be completed).
2. The certificate confirms that animal slaughter / production was performed in accordance with the Islamic law.
3. The certificate is issued after the completion of production. During the production of a particular batch, a Muslim supervising the production process must be present.
4. The certificate is issued in one original in two languages. Copies of the original certified for compliance with the original may be issued.
5 The certificate contains the following information:
a) facility / slaughterhouse data,
b) meat recipient data,
c) slaughter / production date and batch,
d) kind, weight of meat, marking,
e) registration number of the transport vehicle,
f) full name of the person supervising the slaughter / production.
Slaughter and / or production is confirmed by a valid certificate issued by ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ organization.
On the basis of the supervision report and a register filled in by an employee,
the facility is granted a certificate for a particular batch of meat.
IV. CONDITIONS OF SLAUGHTER AND PRODUCTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CHARTER ‘’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’
Halal means appropriate for consumption by Muslims. Classifying a product as halal requires the fulfilment of the following conditions.
A. PRELIMINARY REQUIREMENTS
1. On the basis of an halal charter cooperation agreement, a facility makes all rooms in
which production / slaughter meeting the halal programme principles and requirements is
performed available for inspection, supervision and control. The facility provides all documents
related to production / slaughter.
2. The inspection is carried out by a Muslim having a valid medical examination entry in his health certificate. After the inspection, an information report on the inspection results is prepared by the inspector.
3. If the person performing the inspection reports any reservations, a given batch is not approved as halal chater. As a result, the halal certificate is not issued.
4. ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ has the right to carry out unexpected inspections concerning the compliance with halal charter principles by the facility / slaughterhouse, in accordance with the agreement.
5. Before the initiation of halal production / slaughter, the remains of the production that does not meet halal charter requirements must be cleaned off the production line.
No alcohol can be used for the cleaning.
Tools used for slaughter cannot be used for the slaughter of non-halal animals.
6. The simultaneous use of a production line for slaughter / production meeting halal charter requirements and the one that does not meet these requirements is also unacceptable.
7. The facility is obliged to report the intention of initiating halal slaughter / production to ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’.
B. ANIMAL SLAUGHTER
According to the Islamic law, halal ritual slaughter is an act of adoration. It is performed manually.
It is to be performed for Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), the One and Only God, only for Him and in a manner that He approved and allowed, and with the intention of ensuring proper nutrition.
Offertory is the worship of the One and Only God, therefore it cannot be replaced by a machine with a sharp mechanical knife. Ritual slaughter must be performed properly. In order to kill small animals (sheep, poultry and cattle), the neck should be cut below the larynx: pharynx, oesophagus and large blood vessels, with one move. The larynx must stay close to the head.
Ritual slaughter is perfect if it meets the following conditions:
1. Ritual slaughterer:
– a ritual slaughterer should be a practising Muslim, a mature and sensible man, competent in the area
of ritual slaughter.
– a ritual slaughterer must pray five (5) times a day, in a timely manner.
– mature: an immature person should not perform ritual slaughter.
– sensible: killing an animal by a madman, drunkard, drug addict, child (immature) or a mentally ill
person is against the law.
– specialist: he must be approved and authorized to perform ritual slaughter.
– a ritual slaughterer must demonstrate perfect hygiene and wear appropriate clothing. He should be
dressed in accordance with health protection regulations.
2. Ritual slaughter tools and devices:
– an animal must be trapped in an appropriate trap device.
– a box or a cage must be easy to use and open without noise to prevent stress of the animal.
– in order to avoid stress, pain and wing fracture, birds can also be trapped in an appropriate device.
Poultry can be hanged by the legs on a slaughter line.
– knives used for slaughter must be sharp, have rigid blades and be resistant to corrosion, so as to
ensure quick and immediate death of an animal. They cannot be used for any other purposes than
– knives must be sharpened before every slaughter to prevent pain.
– the knife should be hidden from the animal, and slaughtering should be done out of sight of other
animals waiting to be slaughtered.
– the room where slaughter takes place must be equipped with a sufficient number of knives and
– the windpipe (throat), food-tract (oesophagus) and the two jugular veins must be cut.
– the slaughtering must be done in one stroke without lifting the knife. The knife should not be placed
and lifted when slaughtering the animal.
– the head of the animal must not be cut off during slaughtering but later after the animal is completely
dead, even the knife should not go deep into the spinal cord.
– skinning or cutting any part of the animal is not allowed before the animal is completely dead.
– slaughtering must be made in the neck from the front (chest) to the back.
– the slaughtering must be done manually not by a machine, as one of the conditions is the intention,
which is not found in a machine.
– the slaughtering should not be done on a production line where pigs are slaughtered. Any instrument
used for slaughtering pigs should not be used in the halal slaughtering.
– all animals intended for slaughter must undergo examination (ante mortem) performed by veterinary
– ill animals, in the state of clinical death, bitten by a wild animal, afflicted by diseases contagious for
people (zoonosis) and with high temperature are not killed, because they are not halal, i.e.not healthy.
– tired and stressed animals after the transport must rest before the slaughter.
– in order to avoid visual stress in animals before ritual slaughter, one should avoid situations in which
animals could see a knife or a death of other animals.
– land animals, accepted for consumption, killed by: suffocation, stunning by hitting in the head, electric
shock, immersion in hot water or gassing that is not allowed (Arab. haram) are not accepted for
– the animal to be slaughtered must be from the categories that are permitted for Muslims to eat.
– brutal treatment of these animals is unacceptable. Proper treatment of animals is the chief rule.
– animals should be killed in a comfortable way. Unnecessary suffering to them must be avoided.
– water should be offered to the animal before slaughter, and it should not be slaughtered when hungry.
4. Humane conditions during ritual slaughter of cattle:
Cattle slaughterhouses in Poland are equipped with a holding system used to immobilize an animal before ritual slaughter.
a) Hygiene before ritual slaughter
Ritual slaughterers must take care of personal hygiene and wear appropriate clothing that meets sanitary regulations. Food hygiene in Islam is based on the fact that animals bleed quickly, without stunning and stress, and the meat remains clean. Blood is a habitat of diseases and a threat to human health.
b) The conditions of animal slaughter legal validity according to the Islamic law:
An animal must be kept in a trap appropriate for a given species. It is recommended that a ritual slaughterer directs an animal towards quibla (the direction of Mecca). A ritual slaughterer must be in the state of cleanliness (tahir: ghusl). He should preferably perform ablution (wudhu). A ritual slaughterer, in order to express his intention to sacrifice, must pronounce the name of God and say: “Bismillah, Allah Akbar” (In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest). If this is forgotten unintentionally – it does not have any consequences. If this is omitted intentionally – the meat is not accepted for consumption (it is treated as non-halal).
Killing animals in Islam is a method of ritual slaughter of edible land animals, practised by means of a deep and quick incision of throat with a sharp knife, in order to cut the carotid quickly and to leave the spinal cord. The purpose of this technique is to easily remove blood from an animal’s body in a way to leave the meat clean.
Animals are killed with one or two moves with a sharp knife (there and back). A tool used for slaughter must be sharp to prevent additional pain and long suffering. The cut should not be made in the presence of another animal, as the sight of slaughter evokes unnecessary stress and anxiety. A knife should not be sharpened in front of an animal.
Animals are killed through the simultaneous cut of the trachea under the larynx and on both sides of carotid arteries and jugular veins. One should wait several minutes after the slaughter to allow the leakage of blood from the cut carotid. The animal stays in the trap until it loses blood to death. After it stops fighting, it falls on the floor and is immediately hanged to lose all the blood. The suffering experienced by an animal is limited to the knife going through the skin. Contractions of limbs after slaughter and bleeding do not signify pain. It is a natural nervous reflex due to the lack of blood supply and brain oxygenation. These contractions help to expel the maximum amount of blood from the body.
It is not allowed to make any cuts on an animal (e.g. cutting legs or head) before its complete death (the last gleam of the retina is the sign of death).If carotid arteries are blocked (a physiological reaction of the narrowing of vessels), the ritual slaughterer makes an incision in the neck tip in order to release blood. One cannot start the process of cutting up or break the spine before the complete descent of its soul.
c) Hygiene after ritual slaughter
Once the skin is removed, gutting should be made immediately and quickly in order to prevent intestinal bacteria from penetrating into deep tissues. Meat in containers should not have a direct contact with the ground. Staff responsible for supervision and sanitary inspection is obliged to carry out regular general hygiene inspections and microbiological inspections of halal products and used devices, i.e. the “contact points”. The facility must inform about the planned inspection, its nature, frequency and the results of microbiological controls.
SUMMARY OF CONDITIONS FOR HALAL SLAUGHTER
Islamic law requires that animals intended for human consumption be slain in a certain manner.
The conditions for halal slaughter can be summarized as follows:
1. Slaughter is performed by a Muslim who:
a) has a valid certificate confirming the permission for halal slaughter issued by ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’,
b) has a valid health certificate.
c) slaughtering must be done by a sane adult Muslim. Animals slaughtered by a Non Muslim
will not be halal.
2. Halal charter animal slaughter can be performed exclusively in a slaughterhouse that does not slaughter or cut pork.
3. Animals intended for halal charter slaughter must be treated in accordance with animal well-being principles.
4. Animals prepared for halal slaughter / production must be clean, healthy and without any apparent flaws on their bodies.
5. An animal intended for halal charter slaughter must be alive before the moment of slaughter.
6. If animals are stunned on a production line, which causes the loss of consciousness, stunning devices must be switched off or removed during halal slaughter. No electric shock, bullet or any other means should be used before slaughtering. Using any such method may lead to the death of the animal before it is cut. Islam prohibits Muslims from eating any meat coming from an animal that is dead before slaughter. Muslims are also advised to avoid eating anything doubtful.
7. During slaughter, an animal must be immobilized in a cage.
8. An animal should enter the cage without stress, if possible. During slaughter, an animal must be treated gently to avoid any additional injuries, pain, etc.
9. During slaughter, an animal’s head should be directed towards the south-east
(the direction of Kaaba prayer in Mecca).
10. The knife used for slaughter must be sharp. A worker performing slaughter must constantly control the condition of the tool in terms of the above requirements. If the tool does not meet these requirements, it must be sharpened or replaced with a new one.
11. Slaughter is performed manually. It involves the incision of carotid arteries, jugular veins and trachea with a sharp, straight and smooth tool, several times longer than the animal’s neck. The spine cannot be broken. The incision of the nerve trunk of an animal’s cervical spine causes that the meat is not approved as halal. The cut must be quick and firm. During the cut, a sentence in Arabic is uttered: “Bismillah, Allah Akbar”.
The name of Allah must be invoked (mentioned) at the time of slaughtering by saying : “Bismillah, Allah Akbar” (In the Name of Allah; Allah is the Greatest.) If at the time of slaughtering the name of anyone else other than Allah is invoked (i.e. animal sacrificed for him/her), then the meat becomes haram “unlawful.”
If a Muslim forgets to invoke the name of Allah at the time of slaughtering, the meat will remain
halal. However, if he intentionally does not invoke the name of Allah, the meat becomes haram.
12. An animal should be slaughtered with a single quick cut. A maximum amount of blood must flow
from the animal.
13. The slaughtered animal must be left to bleed. Only after finding that the animal is dead, one can
set about the subsequent production activities.
C. THE CONTROL PROCESS IN A MEAT CUTTING PLANT
1. Raw materials for production cannot come from animals the consumption of which is prohibited in Islam (haram):
– animals that were not slaughtered in accordance with the Islamic law,
– pork and derivative products (e.g. gelatine, grease, lard, skins),
– meat from carnivorous animals,
Islam also prohibits the consumption of alcohol.
2. Animal elements must be obtained from animals coming from slaughter meeting halal charter standards.
3. In halal charter meat is cut on a separate production line. During meat cutting, the production line is used exclusively for halal products.
4. All places and devices used in the process of cutting, storing and transporting of a given product cannot be simultaneously used for the processing of raw materials that do not meet halal charter requirements.
5. In the course of further raw material processing, no animal-derived substances, such as proteins or fats, particularly porcine substances, can be introduced into the bodies of slaughtered animals. The final product cannot contain any substances that do not meet halal requirements.
6. The whole cutting process, including packaging, must be attended by a person supervising the packaging and marking of the product with the halal logo.
7. In halal charter, raw materials must be kept and stored in separate warehouses. If this is not possible, storage with other products in the same room is acceptable, but they must be separated from products that do not meet halal requirements.
a) The control process in a cattle slaughterhouse
The role of a ritual controller is of crucial importance and it must meets strict requirements.
The main control phases include:
– verification of the complete cleaning of the production line (rooms, boxes, machines, tools, etc.);
– quality control concerning the sharpening of knives used exclusively for the purposes of ritual
– authorization to initiate the production on ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ controller’s exclusive responsibility;
– permanent control over the quality of ritual slaughter;
– control of the cut-up and preparation of carcasses;
– separate identification of carcasses and entrails (lungs, heart, liver, etc.);
– a report on the identification of ritual slaughter certified by ’’Al-Haq-Halal’’.
Before deboning and cutting, a ritual controller ensures that:
– all carcasses intended for cutting are labelled with ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ certification marks (badges, labels),
– the area used for halal production is thoroughly cleaned (tables, machines, trays, knives…),
– carcasses are cut and packed under his supervision,
– all parts of halal meat are then identified with ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ certification equipment (vacuum-packed, in
cartons, on trays…),
– bulk meat for processing is placed in individual containers or packaging and taped with ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’
guarantee tape, in order to enable its further use at the place of transformation.
b) The control process in a poultry slaughterhouse
The ritual slaughter control process is regulated by the Halal Hygiene and Quality Rules Charter introduced by ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’.
There are the following control phases :
– the whole poultry intended for slaughter is hanged by feet upside down on a moveable chain and is
taken to the place of bleeding;
– legal meat consumption involves the consumption of meat from ritual slaughter performed by a
mentally healthy, practising Muslim;
– the slaughterer must call God Almighty for each bird, according to the following pattern :
“Bismillah, Allah Akbar” – In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest;
– ritual slaughter must be performed manually by entitled ritual slaughterers. Section of the larynx with a
very sharp knife on carotid arteries, jugular veins, trachea and gullet, without touching the spine;
– checking the sharpness of knives used exclusively for ritual slaughter;
– permission for the initiation of ritual slaughter is the exclusive responsibility of ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ ritual
– the ritual controller is always present in front of the first slaughterer in order to check that every bird is
alive before the initiation of ritual slaughter. Sometimes birds die before the slaughter. The ritual
controller stands right behind the point of bleeding in order to ensure that all birds are really alive, and
he removes dead poultry from the channel;
– checking the quality of ritual slaughter (the correctness of the section of organs). The first control
involves simply checking of the correctness of bleeding after each plucking of poultry;
– identification of every transport of poultry intended for cutting and packing in whole. Birds are placed
on carts and are marked with ’’Al-Haq-Halal’s certification materials (tapes, labels).
c) Storage, processing and transport of halal meat
The ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ control protocol meat processing sites is defined by our Charter of Hygiene and Quality Halal, with the constant focus on traceability of raw materials to final product packaging :
– once meat is transferred to the meat processing plant, the ritual controller must obligatorily check the
presence of ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ labelling (labels, band, buffers, etc.) on the packaging and make sure that
none of the bands or labels is damaged. These elements are part of the strict Halal identification that
have been placed by ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ ritual controllers at slaughterhouses and cutting plants;
– checking the cleanliness and disinfection of the machine used for the production of Halal products and
of Halal production staff. In order to reduce the risk of cross infection, Halal production usually takes
place within the first hour of the plant’s operation;
– a ritual controller carefully checks ingredients used for processed products against recipes, if they
meet the requirements of the Islamic ritual and if no forbidden additives are used (e.g. gelatine);
– the production can be started only after his permission and under his constant supervision. In
intermediate production stages, waiting products are secured with identification tools in order to
prevent cross infection;
– the final certification of Halal products involves the use of labels or the packaging with ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’
logo, in order to guarantee the Halal status of our products to Muslim consumers.
Poultry cutting requires the presence of a ritual controller who tracks various stages of the cutting process and prevents mixing with non-halal products. Poultry is cut under his supervision.
Before the initiation of the cutting process, a ritual controller ensures that:
– the whole poultry from the chain used for halal production is well-marked with ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’ certification marks (badges, guarantee tapes, labels…),
– surfaces used for halal production are thoroughly cleaned (tables, machines, trays, knives),
– bulk meat for processing is placed in individual containers or packaging and taped with ’’AL-HAQ-HALAL’’
guarantee tape in order to enable its further use at the place of transformation.
– meat chilled or frozen for export to Muslims should be stored in separate cold stores other than those
in which pork or other non-halal meat is stored.
– meat minced or processed for Muslims should not be minced in the same machines used to mince
pork or other non-halal meat.
HYGIENE & QUALITY HALAL RULES CHARTER ’’AL HAQ HALAL’’