Warning over misuse of ‘halal’ on labelling

The Halal Food Foundation (HFF) has expressed fears of misuse of the term halal and urged the industry to be more proactive in ensuring products are labelled correctly.

HFF is concerned that self-certification by companies is widespread in the UK and may not adhere to all the requirements of halal certification. For example, some of the questions HFF is encouraging the industry to ask are: “Has the entire production process been halal approved? Is the said product free of all non-halal additives and E-numbers? Is it free of non-halal oils and fats? Are the emulsifiers that have been used 100% sourced from halal slaughtered animals?” said Zena Butt, information officer at the HFF.

Saqib Mohammed, chief executive of the Halal Food Authority, added: “Merely having the word ‘halal’ in any transcript depicted on product packaging means next to nothing unless the product has been independently certified by recognised halal certification bodies depicting their registered logo. We at the Halal Food Authority strongly discourage the use of self-certification and will consumers to seek further information to unveil probable misrepresentation or abuse of the term halal.”

The credibility of halal meat has come into scrutiny in the past as a result of multiple certification boards. Last year Meatinfo.co.uk reported that Westminster Council was accused of supplying halal products in schools which tested positive for pork DNA. Similarly, in 2012, a group of council mosques in Lancashire accused their local government of providing school children with illegitimate halal meat.

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