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Halal Meat Buyer Guide

Once I have been asked by some brothers regarding halalness of meat that has no "halal mark" printed on its package, but only verbally guaranteed halal by the seller. My answer is: it depends, but better avoid such products.

To support my statement let me quote an opinion which is taken from soundvision for obtaining halal meat: (original document is here)

Editor Note: Soundvision is a fine site in US devoted for raising muslims awareness.
  1. Ask at the retail store (Halal grocery store) whether or not a given product or products are Halal.
  2. When it comes to meat, if it is Halal, who is the certifying agency. The certification should be by a third-party, not the manufacturer nor the retailer.
  3. How do you contact the certifying agency? This information has to be public. Muslim grocers, store owners and meat manufacturers have to be accountable to the public because the certifying agencies are supposed to be protecting the consumers’ rights.
  4. When you contact the certifying agency, ask who is slaughtering the meat and what are the procedures.
    This must be verified because the Muslim consumer should not shrug away his or her responsibility, saying that the retailer or the certifying agency is saying it is Halal, and therefore they are not responsible.
  5. This enquiry should be ongoing because every so often a certifying agency may be good today, but then becomes lax for one reason or another. The Muslim consumer should keep inquiring, for example, after every six months

And in my opinion, Halal meat in japan must met at least the requirements below:
  • Slaughtering must be performed by a (trustworthy) muslim,
  • Haram food must not be processed in the same area used for un-halal products,
  • Halal and haram products must be adequately identified and separated at all times,
  • Equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and washed if haram meat has been in contact,
  • Additives and ingridients in halal meat products must be also Halal
  • There must be other independent person/organization that checks and validates the slaughtering process. This person/organization must be available for further contact all the times for verifying the validation.

My final words for dealing with uncertified halal meat in Japan:
You can recognize two distinct kind of halal meats according to how they are prepared:
  1. Dealing with meat from a personal muslim slaughterman
    • Most of meat of this kind has no halal mark printed on its package. However, in my humble opinion, it is acceptable, since the cost of making special halal package is not affordable to the most of individual muslims.
    • Integrity of deen of the slaughterer is kind of guarantee to the halalness of his meat.
    • You must check directly (by oral) to the slaughterer on how he understands the halal requirements.
    • Ask him whether another person has verified his slaughtering process, or you must ask him to show you the slaughtering process by visiting the butcher house at which he slaughter the animals.
  2. Dealing with meat from a large halal suppliers
    • Halal mark on every single package is a symbol of efforts and should ensure halalness of the their products. So halal mark is mandatory for meat from halal supplier/producer.
    • Ask the producer on how it obtains the halal mark and certification or whether there is an organization who guarantees the halalness.
    • Check whether the producer discloses enough information about halalness of its products. Good halal meat producer must have enough knowledge about issues regarding halal-haram in Islam.
    • Check who is the owner of the business. If he is a muslim then it is good, if he is a widely known integrated muslim personality then it is the best.
    • Remember, a very large halal meat producer usually has several halal processing sites within, therefore a fact that a company is producing a halal product does not mean that every product from the same company is halal, except if it has halal certification for every processing site it operates.
As a major halal meat supplier, Azhar Halal Foods strictly follows above guidance. These are reasons why we still do not sell the Sadia boneless thigh meat even there are requests from our customers, since the Sadia boneless chicken thighs (and brazilian chicken products in general) only have halal mark printed on outer cartoon, not being printed in every single plastic package. In fact, for the worst, there are some halal stores that sell brazilian meat which has halal mark printed no where on the package of the products.

Wallohu a'lam bis-showab.
Eko Fajar N.

Note: I am going to translate this document to Indonesian/Malaysian language.

Further reading: (Mainly taken from www.soundvision.com)

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