What Is Halal Meat?

The first thing that needs to be understood about halal foods, is that halal translates from Arabic into English as “Permissible”. Halal food is that which adheres to Islamic law, as defined in the Quran. The Islamic form of slaughtering animals or poultry, dhabiha, involves killing through a cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery, and windpipe.

The animals must be both alive and healthy at the time of the slaughter and all the blood is drained from the carcass of the animal. During this process, a Muslim will recite a dedication, know as tasmiya or shahada. Stunning is not allowed to be used to kill an animal according to the halal food authority. Which is a non profit organisation which monitors the adherence to halal principles. Stunning the animal can only be used if the animal survives and is then killed by halal methods the HFA adds.

How Is It Different From Kosher Meat?

Kosher food complies with Jewish dietary law, again governing what can and cannot be eaten by those practicing the faith of Judaism. There are some similarities in the method of the slaughter of the animal in that both require the use of a surgically sharp knife and specially trained slaughtermen. Jewish law strictly forbids the use of stunning during slaughter and meats are not blessed in the same way. The main difference for halal is that kashrut does not require God’s name to be said before every slaughter after an initial blessing. Kashrut forbids the consumption of certain parts of the carcass, including the sciatic nerve and particular fats. Halal also forbids the consumption of some carcass parts including the testicles and bladder.

Where Can You Get Halal Meat?

A large amount of everyday supermarkets such as Tesco, Morrisons, Marks and Spencer and Co-op all sell halal lamb. Some of the Waitrose lamb products are given a Halal blessing, but are not supplied separately and are therefore not considered halal on the shelves the chain has said themselves.

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