The label is referred as halal in English. In Arab, the term is حلال, which means legal. Halal means food and items comply with Islamic teaching in Muslim countries. Halal is a way of life of the Muslims where language, behavior and attire are subject to Islamic rule.
In Quran, dead animals, blood and animals slaughtered without reciting Quran versus are banned for consumption. However, animals and food sourced from the sea are exception. Wild animals, poultry consuming contaminated food and some of amphibians (such as frog), reptiles (such as tortoise, turtle) are banned for consumption too. The by-products such as lard, soup and sausages are banned too. In addition, the blood of poultry, such as chicken blood, duck blood and pig blood, whether they are in the list for consumption or not, are banned for consumption as well.
Poultry consumed by Muslims such as chicken, duck, goose, cow, sheep and camel are to be slaughtered according to stipulated Islamic regulations. Its criteria is that the livestock are lively and healthy when they are slaughtered. Secondly, the knife used is sharp to immediately severe the blood veins, trachea and esophagus for an immediate death (reduce pain). Thirdly, recite the name of Allah before slaughtering. Cow, sheep, chicken and duck which have been slaughtered according to the procedures stated above are considered halal meat.
Royal Wing, an Indian-Arab style of halal restaurant in Phuket, Thailand.
To Muslims, all meat, including boiling soup, are supposed to be halal food. Majority living creatures in the sea are halal. All additives are not to use by products of non-halal items such as intestine, lard ( as well as other animal fat), sausages, ham, bacon, preserved pork, meat floss, or blood of chicken, duck, cow and sheep.
In addition, all seasonings are not supposed to contain alcohol or non-halal animal fat or any drugs. Kitchen utensils (prepare another set) are not supposed to share. No sharing of pan to fry or steam food. No sharing of knife, chopper board, spatula or scoop to avoid mixing with other banned food. The packaging of halal food comes with halal written in English, Chinese or Arab.
A Chinese halal restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia published “Halal Declaration” in 1974 and started to develop Halal food industry in 1980. The Department of Islamic Development in Malaysia takes charge of managing and monitoring halal food production in the country by issuing certificates to qualified manufacturers.
Halal label has been verified by local mosques during the transition from Yuan Dynasty to Ming Dynasty before the products were to carry the label. The tradition has been observed till today. Currently, halal food are regulated throughout the world. A proper halal system is available in Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia.
Due to Malaysia’s success in halal verification, the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) has requested countries in the world to emulate Malaysia’s halal system in halal food production. Malaysia’s halal verification covers seven areas: food, make-up products, personal care products, consumer products, food and beverage sector, pharmaceutical products, abattoirs and logistic. Halal products produced in Malaysia, whether sold in local market or world market, are reputable.
Halal food products of Philippines are also exhibited in China