Because of the economic significance of the Halal meat market, many food business operators have started trading in Halal meat products. Some businesses rely solely on the services of Halal certification bodies (HCBs) to assure Halal consumers as to the authenticity of Halal meat products. However, the lack of unified national or global Halal standards has resulted in confusion as to what is authentic Halal. This paper aims to survey HCBs in the UK to highlight the major differences between the various Halal standards with regard to Halal meat production.
Out of 15 HCBs that the authors contacted, 9 agreed to participate in the study. Respondents were asked to indicate what slaughter practices are acceptable according to their standard and further indicate if their respective organisations carried out speciation testing to detect the presence of foreign deoxyribonucleic acid in certified Halal products.
All nine certifiers indicated that they owned and operated according to a written Halal standard. The majority of certifiers indicated that they accepted pre-slaughter stunning if the stunning did not result in the death of animals prior to exsanguination, a Muslim should perform the slaughter and a short prayer must be recited and only manual (by hand) slaughter is acceptable.
The findings give an insight into acceptable and prohibited procedures during Halal meat production in the UK. Abattoir operators, meat processors and retailers can use this as a guide when selecting suitable Halal certifiers for their businesses.
The study reveals that there are a number of HCBs in the UK who are all operating according to the different interpretation of the Halal dietary laws. The paper further highlights the different slaughter procedures that are acceptable and prohibited to different certifiers.
Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Fuseini, A., Hadley, P. and Knowles, T. (2021), "Halal food marketing: an evaluation of UK halal standards", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. 12 No. 5, pp. 977-991. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIMA-02-2020-0037
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