An independent halal inspection by HSI includes checks on a large number of different factors. Some examples of these checks and verifications include:
- That the abattoir is supervised by the Food Standards Authority (FSA)
- That different species are correctly processed and differentiated
- That pork is never processed in the slaughterhouse building
- That slaughtermen are practising Muslims
- That slaughtermen have valid licences
- That slaughter is manual/non-mechanical
- That any blade is sharp and clean
- That animals are live prior to slaughter
- Whether the process is stun / non-stun
- That animals are slaughtered out of sight of other animals
- That Tasmiyah is verbally recited
- That at least 3 main vessels are cut
- That pork is never processed in the food manufacturer’s building
- Quality checks on all in-coming ingredients including non-meats
- Inspections of processing and storage facilities
- That all meat is accurately labelled
- Use of tamper-evident transport containers
- Use of serialised labels for traceability
Chicken/poultry – an important note
We have received a number of enquiries from consumers asking about our policy with respect to chicken/poultry and stunning. We can confirm that all HSI-certified poultry comes from a non-stun source, and we expect this to remain our formal policy.
Lamb and beef
For the majority of the beef and lamb products we certify, the meats come from slaughterhouses that use a non-stun process. This is true of all the UK-based halal slaughterhouses we have inspected on our clients’ behalf.
However, we will not necessarily refuse to certify a slaughterhouse that uses a stun-based process, provided that, in our opinion, the slaughter is conducted humanely, with due respect for animal welfare. The key issue with respect to halal certification is that the animal should be alive at the point of slaughter – i.e. when the blood vessels are severed. In other words, there should be no practical risk that the stunning process itself could kill the animal outright. To meet this condition, slaughterhouses must have properly designed and managed processes in place, and these processes must be strictly observed by all slaughtermen, who we insist must be practising Muslims. These are conditions that we check and monitor as part of the certification process.
Like all the prominent UK halal inspection bodies, we do not normally inspect or certify a company’s processes before the point of slaughter. In other words, we do not formally consider issues such as animal feed, living conditions or transportation as part of the certification process. We consider that these issues relate more to the question of Tayyab than to Halal.