Halal quality assurance scheme consultation launched

AHDB Beef & Lamb has launched an eight-week consultation on a quality assurance scheme for halal meat. 

Covering sheep meat only, the consultation is to gauge if a scheme would add value to the sector and boost supply chain transparency.

AHDB Beef & Lamb has been working on the detail of the proposed scheme – which would have separate categories for stunned, non-stunned and post-cut-stunned slaughter for sheep – since its halal seminar in February. Now, it is publishing the proposals, which would see on-pack labelling signposting, if it has come through an assured route, to help customers choose products on shelves, to see what industry thinks and to assess whether there is support to push the scheme forward.

Under the scheme, each site would be required to have a written Halal Policy, including how much of the site’s production is intended to be halal-compliant, as well as halal production controls, segregation of non-compliant products and a halal compliance officer or halal management team who maintain overall responsibility for implementation and operation of the policy.

Awal Fuseini, halal sector manager with AHDB Beef & Lamb, said: “It is our belief an assurance scheme for the halal sheep meat sector would add transparency to the supply chain and boost customer choice in the product they are buying, knowing which adhere to clear standards around safety, animal welfare and the Islamic guidelines on slaughter.

“It would help demonstrate high standards in the slaughter and further processing of halal sheep meat. The draft proposals have three different schemes, which would ultimately be labelled on the product to allow Muslim consumers to buy assured product that fits with their own belief with regard to halal slaughter.

“This should not happen, though, without us gauging opinion from the sector and we would urge all those with a vested interest to get involved in the consultation.”

The consultation (http://www.qsmbeefandlamb.co.uk/halal) is open until 30 August 2017.

The proposed standards would cover:

• Welfare
• Transport/deliveries
• Lairage
• Restraint
• Stunning (pre-slaughter or post-slaughter where applicable)
• Slaughter
• Dressing
• Classification
• Chilling
• Storage
• Maturation
• Cutting and packing
• Further processing
• Labelling
• Hygiene and food safety
• Traceability

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