What is Eating Halal?
Someone who eats Halal is following the religion of Islam similar to someone who practices Judaism eats kosher. Muslims and other followers of the Islam are guided by the Qur’an which sets forth select dietary requirements for eating“Halal”. Halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted. The opposite of Halal is haram, which means unlawful or forbidden.
Halal and haram are terms that describe anything allowed or prohibited. In foodservice this list includes:
§ Foods (whole and processed)
§ Meats (including fish and seafood)
§ Food ingredients
§ Nutrition supplements (novel foods or capsules)
§ Cooking utensil and surfaces; dishes and food storage
All foods are considered halal except the following (which are haram):
§ Swine/pork and its by-products
§ Animals improperly slaughtered or dead before slaughtering
§ Alcoholic drinks and intoxicants
§ Carnivorous animals, birds of prey and certain other animals
§ Foods contaminated with any of the above products
Foods containing ingredients such as gelatin, enzymes, emulsifiers, and flavors are questionable (mash booh), because the origin of these ingredients may be from a prohibited (haram) source.
Why Serve Halal Foods?
Of the 300+ million people in the United States,approximately 3% of the population is Muslim or follows the Islam faith. That translates to roughly 9 million Muslim consumers seeking Halal foods. As with any required dietary restriction, the challenge of eating away from home can often times become quite frustrating.
Offering Halal meals in a foodservice operation is a means of attracting new customers, improving customer satisfaction and creating new revenue!
Three Steps to Serving Halal:
1.Check the menu and make a shopping list:
§ Foods must be natural, whole foods (fruit,vegetable, grain, dairy) OR certified Halal (meat, poultry and processed foods).
i.You will recognize Halal certification by the certifying agency’s symbol on the package label.
§ No alcohol can be served, used in cooking or part of an ingredient (i.e. extract flavorings).
§ No pork or pork product is allowed (i.e. ham,bacon, gelatin, etc…)
2.Check the planned Halal menu and assess any storage,preparation areas and service style (cafeteria, table service, buffet line, etc) foods.
§Cross-contamination must be avoided between any Halal food and non-Halal foods at each step of storing, preparing and serving.
§ Well trained staff from back of the house to servers portrays the confidence that the consumer can trust - meaning the operation is indeed halal-friendly.
Bringing Halal to Your Campus - click here
Distributors Offering Halal Foods
Click the link to see Halal shelf-stable options at the sensational foodservice distributors. Check back often as new items are added regularly. Coming soon - Halal certified frozen meats and processed foods.