Kitchen Tips

Why is Halal Food so Important in Malaysia

A large majority of the population in Malaysia comprises of Malay Muslims and it is of utmost importance for them to consume meat that is lawful or permissible.

Halal food is consumed by the Muslims as a fundamental practice and is said that the Koran states that the followers of Islam are meant to eat food that is prepared only from the halal method of slaughtering meat. The opposite of halal is haram which means it is not permissible.

Halal certification

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So what exactly is Halal food?

Halal means ‘permissible’ in Arabic. Halal food is that which adheres to Islamic law, as defined in the Koran. Muslims are not allowed to eat foods that are not ‘Halal’ and that includes pork or pig meat. It is believed that eating pigs are not hygienic and hence Muslims are not allowed to eat pig meat.

Halal meat is cut using a method called ‘Dhabiha’, in which there is no blood left in the meat before it is eaten. It is also said that Muslims choose to eat the meat that comes only from a Muslim butcher.

The Muslim community is also forbidden to consume alcohol under the law of Halal.

importance of halal food in malaysia

Image Courtesy: Alpha used under the Creative Commons Licence

How do you know if the meat is Halal Compliant?

Although it’s a tricky task to find if the meat is halal or not, Halal comprises of more than just the type of meat eaten.

For any animal the rule of halal is that it must have lived a complete life from the very beginning to the end of life that is permissible in accordance with Islamic standards. It must have eaten well, treated with care and should be sacrificed well.

In short the animal should be not be abused and should be fed clean water and food that is appropriate and absolutely never fed another animal or products that contain the by-products of other animals.

The slaughter should never be done in the presence of other animals and it should be comfortably positioned for the sacrifice. The act of the sacrifice should be done with a sharp object, so as to accelerate the process and reduce the pain suffered by the animal.

Following which the blood should be completely drained from the animal as it is believed that it contains germs and toxins which could lead to diseases when consumed.

Halal Food certification in Malaysia

Halal Certification is a process by which the meat or food is certified by a Government-controlled Agency or a credible Islamic organisation certifies and labels a company’s products can be lawfully consumed by Muslims. The companies that sell Halal food should meet this criteria and are issued with a certification with a halal symbol on it.

Halal certificate is an assurance that a particular product has been thoroughly investigated and found to conform to the Islamic laws is suitable for use by Halal consumers. The importance of Halal food in Malaysia can not be overlooked.

Halal foods that can be consumed:

Almost all kinds of food like seafood, vegetables, poultry, Meats, Frozen Foods, Pasta & Noodles, Biscuits  and Cookies, Fruits, seasonings and spices, sauces, beverages etc are known to be halal foods and are permissible to consume.

Non- Halal foods:

Alcohol, pork, bacon, Animal fat, shortening and gelatin are known to be non-halal foods.

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