Halal food is known as alternative food for all people. However, this essay will discuss how the food production process in the Islamic way. Halal production method essentially is a part of the halal food itself. It also includes the process of animal slaughtering. This process is vital in Islam because related to ethics issues.
Animal welfare in Halal food production
The concept of halal food production is not only about Halal or Non-Halal (Haram). Halal food also introduces an ethics in food production. Ethical food production in Islam identifies by food processing based on Holy Quran and Sunnah (example from Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him). In this case, Halal production consists of standard halal ingredients, slaughtering guideline, and food packaging process. All stage in halal food production proved that Islam concerns in quality food consumption.
There are several criteria outlined by the Indonesian Ulama’ Council (Majelis Ulama’ Indonesia) on Halal standards. First, Halal standard allowed only an animals that authorised to consume in Islam, for instance, chickens, cows and sheep. Also, all types of seafood are Halal and can be consumed, except dangerous animal. It also similar to any plants, except it has toxic and harmful to consumers. Besides that, the Halal standard requires an animal alive when slaughtered.
Slaughtering animals in Islam has its rules and also concerning the condition of animals. The process is very prominent because it will affect the food quality. Slaughtering process in Islam way teach us how to treat animals with kindness, not to torture and hurt animals. According to Indonesian Ulama’ Council (Majelis Ulama Indonesia), animal slaughtering process must consider several criteria:
- Slaughterer must be a Muslim and has knowledge to slaughter in an Islamic way.
- Have a high ability to slaughter
- Slaughtering tools must be sharp, so we don’t hurt or torture animals when slaughtered.
- Slaughtering tools is not a bone, teeth or fangs, but knives as an example
- Slaughtering conduct with divine intention and mention the name of Allah.
- The animals should face the Kaaba in Mecca. This condition based on Prophet Muhammad example, peace be upon him.
- Slaughtering conducted by cutting the food channel (let ‘/ oesophagus), two veins (jugular veins and arteries carotids), respiratory / throat (trachea), while the blood is draining.
- Slaughtering should be quickly in once, so we are not torturing the animal.
- Ensure the blood flow and animal death in slaughtering process.
Islam is very concerned to treat animals better in food production. Concerning the animal is shown by giving the best treatment in slaughtering process. The slaughtering process in Halal food conducted to minimize animal pain. Therefore, Halal or non-Halal food determined by the slaughtering process also.
Halal food labels
Halal food has its label with Arabic letter. This label is a guarantee and protection symbol to Muslims and consumers who want to get halal food. Besides that, every products or Restaurant that provide halal food must have this label. In several countries, the label given by the Halal Certification Organization. This organization established to provides assurance and halal certification for food production and food products (Aziz, and Chok, 2013).
In fact, the rate of the Muslim population continues to increase every year. In Europe for instance, the Muslim population continues to grow especially in Britain, France and Germany. This growth contributed to the increasing demand for halal food in these countries. There is no wonder if we find a lot of restaurant with the halal label in everywhere. Besides of economic and business factors, the label looks like a sign for the better food production. In evidently, this Halal food method is not only a part of Islam but a standard quality production for all people.
Halal food promotes sanitary and best quality in food production. In this case, the concept of halal food production can be the best choice for all people, not only for Muslims. The halal food concept is to guarantee and ensure that all food composition are not harmful to human body and more hygienic. Therefore, halal food not only a ritual of a particular religion but has become an indicator of quality assurance in society.