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Supervisory Guidelines and Procedures for Poultry HALAL Slaughter Process
In today’s usage of a mass slaughtering system of poultry (the usage of mechanical knives), the job of
a slaughterman and a slaughtering supervisor require technical knowledge, detailed supervision, and a
full understanding of the Islamic concept of Halal Zabiha, plus a general knowledge of the processing
plant itself. All of these provisions are necessary in order to be able to produce a final Halal product,
free of impurity (Najis) and mix up.
Halal slaughtering services should take place at the beginning of the first shift with clean, sanitized
machinery and equipment. The halal slaughtering can continue into the second shift if the process is
continued from the morning.
For those plants that do not have a wash down gap between the two shifts, halal slaughtering cannot
take place at the beginning of the second shift, unless Halal blessing is a continuous from the first
shift into the second shift.
During the halal slaughtering process, the slaughtering supervisor should carefully take the following
steps. This is necessary to prevent mistakes that could lead to a non-Halal (Haram) product.
Step 1: Setting of Stunner
The first step is to check and make sure that the stunner voltage is set according to the size of the birds,
usually between 12 to 16 volts. The resistance is set between 2 to 3 ampere which could be attained
by lowering or elevating the stunner casings. This is necessary to prevent clotting of the blood and to
assure a full bleeding of the arteries, without damaging or lasting effect on the subject animal.
Step 2: Adjustment of Kill Machine
In order to achieve an incision that cuts the throat, esophagus, and the two sets of blood vessels
(jugular and carotid) without cutting the spinal cord, the machine should be properly set. When the
head of the bird goes between the two rollers, the rollers should be tight enough so that the head
doesn’t come off and yet should be loose enough that the groove in the lower roller can spin the head
from side to side, insuring that the rotating blade makes the correct incision required by Zabiha Halal.
The usual distance between the two roller bars for birds sizing is between 4-1/4 and 4-3/4 pounds.
(You should be able to almost push a nickel coin between the two bars.)
Please be advised that all adjustments to machinery and equipment should be done through authorized
plant personnel (i.e. maintenance persons.) The slaughterman should not attempt to adjust any
Step 3: Muslim Slaughterman
The job of the Muslim slaughterman is to recite “BISMIALLAHU AKBAR” and to carefully monitor
the correction of the following problems that may be encountered during the mechanical slaughtering
a) At the beginning shift before the line starts putting his hand on the switch and reciting
“BISMILLAHU AKBAR” and maintaining recitation until the end of the shift.
b) To monitor the physical cut by the back up killer that is missed by the mechanical knife.
c) To monitor cuts by making sure that the blood vessels, throat, the esophagus and the
windpipe are completely cut. (without pulling off the heads)
d) To remove the non-moving birds off the line that may have been dead before being
hung on the line, or as result of the stunner damage.
e) To also remove the birds off the line that do not bleed due to clotting of the blood or
for any other reason.
At this stage, the job of a slaughterman is complete. However, the detail follow-up of the carcass
through the final stage is also as important as the slaughtering stage.
Since a non-halal slaughtered bird is considered to be haram and cannot be consumed by Muslims, any
mix up or contact of non-halal carcasses with halal carcasses could cause the halal carcasses to become
Note 1: It is important to make sure that the slaughtered bird is completely dead before going into
scalder (warm water.)
Note 2: It is important to keep in mind that the line speed differs from plant to plant, some time to
more than 150 birds per minute and that the slaughterman could only recite according to his
Therefore, it is very important to keep the halal slaughtered birds separate and prevent any contact with
other non-halal products, including unwashed tools and machinery, all the way through the packaging
Please consider the following points for the products that go to mechanical deboning (comminuted
meat). Certain by-products are sent to mechanical deboning to be transformed to chicken frank paste.
Products used are as follows:
1) Rib cases from deboning department
Products not to be used:
2) Trim from thigh deboning department
3) Strip back from breast department
4) Whole backs from leg department
1) Floor products that is not USDA approved (condemned)
2) Condemned salvage products
3) Bone from the thigh debone department
1. Product Transfer
Note: In some plants, wing tips from party wing departments are also used for mechanical deboning.
For this purpose, a slaughtering supervisor should take notice of the following steps to make sure that
the halal product does not come in contact with non-halal products.
Transferring product for different purposes is a common practice for multi-plant poultry companies
or for purchase and sale of the product for single plant companies. Therefore, the plant product
coordinator needs to be contacted in order to ensure that there is no presence of non-halal product
during a halal schedule.
a) Product returned from a deboning plant, such as front half or breast
b) Product purchased for the purpose of deboning, i.e. breast deboning or thigh
c) Returns excess product from marinating plant or facility
2. Product Held
Note: Halal slaughtering supervisors should contact the appropriate department supervisor to prevent
such schedule of non-halal product during a halal slaughter day.
There are times that product could be held and carried over to the next day or next shift.
a) The Quality Control Department can hold product for either moisture or grade.
3. Product Carryover
b) The U.S.D.A. could hold product for issues like moisture or grade some times from 2 to 24 hours.
Product carryover into the next day or shift is usually scheduled for the purpose of labor efficiency or
aging of the product for deboning purposes.
a) Whole birds tanks for the following shift for labor-efficiency
4. Labeling and Identification Task
b) Thigh or front half for thigh debone or breast debone department
c) In the case of schedule carryover product, arrangement need to be made for halal slaughter
so the carryover product is also halal.
d) In the case of Hold product, the slaughtering supervisor needs to check to make sure that such
products are isolated and are not processed during the halal schedule.
Generally, the only remaining point at this stage would be the labeling of finished halal product and
keeping a detailed record of the number of the cases or boxes produced for the purpose of certification.
In-plant label should be provided to Halal supervisor.
a) To label and identify halal carryover products,
This is to ensure that such information could be double checked and confirmed by Halal inspector
before usage the final products to be packaged. Should a Halal supervisor have any uncertainty,
concerns, or questions about the processing procedure, he should contact, at any time of the Day or
Night, the Halal Food Council’s Director, at (410) 548-1728 or by fax (410) 548-2217.
b) For storage of halal product,
c) For final halal product going to further processing, chicken frank plant,
d) For the final finished halal product
Note: Such labels should have the following information:
a) The words “Halal Poultry” or product in large letters,
b) The Halal service provider organizational Logo,
c) The label needs to be numbered in sequence and identification of the shift.
To All Supervisors and Slaughtermen:
The Islamic Affairs Divisions, Aesan (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia) Department Guidelines on
The Asian group has approved the use of the mechanical knife for the slaughter of chicken. However,
the following conditions must be observed at the approved slaughter houses by the respective
government office in the United States of America.
1) The operator of the mechanical knife (Slaughterman) should be a MUSLIM. He will
recite “BISMILLAH” prior to switching on the mechanical knife.
2) The MUSLIM Slaughterman, who switches on the machine, should not leave the
3) Should the slaughterman leave the slaughter area, he will be replaced by another
MUSLIM Slaughterman. The former will stop the line and switch off the
mechanical knife. To restart the operation, the second slaughterman must recite
the prayers as in (1) before switching on the mechanical knife and the line.
4) The knife used should be of a single blade type and must be sharp.
5) In the act of the slaughter, the trachea, esophagus, and major blood vessels in the neck
region (jugular and carotid) of the bird must be severed.
6) The Slaughterman is required to check that each bird is properly slaughtered. Muslim
slaughterman should slaughter manually any birds that miss the mechanical knife.