Welcome to Halal Food Council USA, the leading Halal-food certification organization in North America.
Halal certification gives companies access to Muslim consumers.
General Guidelines for Use of the Term "Halal"
The Codex Alimentarius Commission accepts that there may be minor differences in
opinion in the interpretation of lawful and unlawful animals and in the slaughter act,
according to the different Islamic Schools of Thought. As such, these general guidelines
are subjected to the interpretation of the appropriate authorities of the importing
countries. However, the certificates granted by the religious authorities of the exporting
country should be accepted in principle by the importing country, except when the latter
provides justification for other specific requirements.
1.1 These guidelines recommend measures to be taken on the use of Halal claims in food
1.2 These guidelines apply to the use of the term halal and equivalent terms in claims as
defined in the General Standard for the Labelling of Prepackaged Foods and include its
use in trademarks, brand names and business names.
1.3 These guidelines are intended to supplement the Codex General Guidelines on
Claims and do not supersede any prohibition contained therein.
2.1 Halal Food means food permitted under the Islamic Law and should fulfil the following
The Codex General Guidelines for the use of the term "Halal" were adopted by the Codex
Alimetarius Commission at its 22nd Session, 1997. They have been sent to all Member
Nations and Associate Members of FAO and WHO as an advisory text, and it is for
individual governments to decide what use they wish to make of the Guidelines.
2.1.1 does not consist of or contain anything which is considered to be unlawful
according to Islamic Law;
2.1.2 has not been prepared, processed, transported or stored using any appliance or
facility that was not free from anything unlawful according to Islamic Law; and
2.1.3 has not in the course of preparation, processing, transportation or storage been in
direct contact with any food that fails to satisfy 2.1.1 and 2.1.2 above.
2.2 Notwithstanding Section 2.1 above:
2.2.1 halal food can be prepared, processed or stored in different sections or lines within
the same premises where non-halal foods are produced, provided that necessary
measures are taken to prevent any contact between halal and non-halal foods;
3. CRITERIA FOR USE OF THE TERM "HALAL"
2.2.2 halal food can be prepared, processed, transported or stored using facilities which
have been previously used for non-halal foods provided that proper cleaning
procedures, according to Islamic requirements, have been observed.
3.1 LAWFUL FOOD
The term halal may be used for foods which are considered lawful. Under the Islamic Law,
all sources of food are lawful except the following sources, including their products and
derivatives which are considered unlawful:
3.1.1 Food of Animal Origin
a) Pigs and boars.
b) Dogs, snakes and monkeys.
c) Carnivorous animals with claws and fangs such as lions, tigers, bears and other similar
d) Birds of prey with claws such as eagles, vultures, and other similar birds.
e) Pests such as rats, centipedes, scorpions and other similar animals.
f) Animals forbidden to be killed in Islam, i.e., ants, bees and woodpecker birds.
g) Animals which are considered repulsive generally like lice, flies, maggots and other
h) Animals that live both on land and in water such as frogs, crocodiles and other similar
i) Mules and domestic donkeys.
j) All poisonous and hazardous aquatic animals.
k) Any other animals not slaughtered according to Islamic Law.
3.1.2 Food of Plant Origin
Intoxicating and hazardous plants except where the toxin or hazard can be eliminated
a) Alcoholic drinks
b) All forms of intoxicating and hazardous drinks
3.1.4 Food Additives
All food additives derived from Items 3.1.1, 3.1.2 and 3.1.3.
All lawful land animals should be slaughtered in compliance with the rules laid down in
the Codex Recommended Code of Hygienic Practice for Fresh Meat and the following
3.2.1 The person should be a Muslim who is mentally sound and knowledgeable of the
Islamic slaughtering procedures.
3.2.2 The animal to be slaughtered should be lawful according to Islamic Law.
3.2.3 The animal to be slaughtered should be alive or deemed to be alive at the time of
3.2.4 The phrase "Bismillah" (In the Name of Allah) should be invoked immediately before
the slaughter of each animal.
3.2.5 The slaughtering device should be sharp and should not be lifted off the animal
during the slaughter act.
3.2.6 The slaughter act should sever the trachea, oesophagus and main arteries and
veins of the neck region.
3.3 PREPARATION, PROCESSING, PACKAGING, TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE
4. ADDITIONAL LABELLING REQUIREMENT
All food should be prepared, processed, packaged, transported and stored in such a
manner that it complies with the Section 2.1 and 2.1 above and the Codex General
Principles on Food Hygiene and other relevant Codex Standards.
4.1 When a claim is made that a food is halal, the world halal or equivalent terms should
appear on the label.
4.2 In accordance with the Codex General Guidelines on Claims, claims on halal should
no be used in ways which could give rise to doubt about the safety of similar food or
claims that halal foods are nutritionally superior to, or healthier than, other foods.