Islam has laws regarding which foods, which either by nature of the food or by means of preparation, cannot be eaten.
Judaism has very similar “laws” regarding food preparation and foods that are safe to consume.
So why do we care about Halal and Kosher?
Because of the guaranteed care taken to ensure the quality of the product and the cleanliness of the preparation areas for these designations means these labels add an extra level of protection in a world seemingly filled with food poisoning. In restaurants and other eating establishments I tend to feel if you care enough to serve halal or kosher the care behind the scenes will be as dedicated.
An example of food which would not be legal because of how it was prepared would be foods which contain
- hydrolyzed animal protein
- Lactylated fatty acid esters
- Magnesium stearate
- Mono & Di-glycerides
- … the list goes on.
In September, 2000, a McDonalds restaurant in Dearborn Michigan “began offering a halal version of its chicken nuggets.”
The reason is obvious: not everyone pursuing a halal diet wanted to be restricted to salads when visiting the restaurant.
Well then … wouldn’t every restaurant seek halal certification?
Sadly, not every food provider can attain this level.
The process, should a food manufacturer wish to to attain halal or kosher certification(s), is not something to be taken lightly.
Documentations have to be submitted such as specification sheets, labels, flow charts, cleaning procedures, etc; a company must “arrange for an audit/inspection of the facility in order that IFANCA may review the process, products, materials and sanitation of the production process;” and even after approval, the certification might only apply to one calendar year or in some cases only to one particular batch.
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