UK: FSA re-issues Guidance Notes on Halal Food to Enforcement Officers

Naved Syed, MD of Janan Meat in the West Midlands, today welcomed the recent re-issue of Guidance Notes on Halal Food Issues to food enforcement officers by the Food Standards Agency.

“With there having been so much in the media recently about Halal meat and the way that it is produced, it is timely that the FSA should have re-issued their 2003 Guidance Notes on Halal foods which remind enforcement officers of what they need to be checking for when inspecting Halal food production facilities,” said Naved.

“As a well established Halal abattoir I personally have nothing to hide and welcome any enforcement officer to my premises at any time. What the Guidance Notes do finally provide are a clear set of instructions to Local Authority Enforcement Officers on what can and what should not be labelled as Halal, as well as providing clear information on the acceptable halal production method for meat and poultry,” Naved continued. “The Guidance Notes are very clear that an animal should be deemed to be alive at the actual time of slaughter.

“The important issue regarding these Guidance Notes is that regardless of any halal certifier’s certification issued, these Guidance Notes supersede any previous instruction.

Food enforcement officers are requested to use this advice when planning inspections, food sampling and labelling checks relating to Halal foods and take appropriate enforcement action. There is now a legal standard for all halal food in the UK and this new standard will bring some clarity into the Halal market.”

Naved also said that with the introduction of these Guidance Notes for Halal, it will enable the Muslim community to go to Trading Standards and legally challenge any questionable Halal certified products to be verified.

This means that businesses who choose to enter the halal market must ensure that they are following the Food Standard Agency’s Guidance Notes for Halal, as issued by M/s Sarah Appleby head of the Local Authority Enforcement Officers. If in doubt, they should contact their local EHO and request for a copy of the halal guidance.

Ed: Naved Syed is a panelist at the forthcoming World Halal Forum Europe in London on 10-11 November