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For things you buy off the shelves (products):
Check for the Halal Certification and/or Logo.
I saw some videos going around Facebook where the producer of that video asked the stall keeper:
Q: Is your stall Halal Certified?
A: No we are not, but all our ingredients are Halal.
Q: How do you know that the ingredient is halal?
A: Oh we see the HALAL CHOP!
So, what is this mysterious halal chop? If these are the chops that you see, then I’m afraid to disappoint you by letting you know that these ‘halal’ chops below are invalid.
These logos are not accredited. Anyone could have printed it on their own products for the purposes of monetary gains. Sadly, I have witnessed the abuse of this logo, printed on products which are not halal just to attract the Muslim consumer dollar.
It is safer to treat these logos as if they are not printed on the products and go straight to observing the ingredients that the product contains in order to verify if it is halal for your consumption.
(halalfoodhunt.com occasionally runs classes on how to read food labels to determine halal risk conducted by a previous halal consultant with a degree in Chemistry, so let us know if you want to be notified of future classes below!)
What are the valid logos?
For starters, look for the MUIS logo for locally produced products. For imported products, the halal emblems usually bear the name of the issuer of the halal logo. This means that the product has been verified to be halal by the relevant authorities and entities. Here are some recognised logos for your closer inspection.
All of the logos above are International Halal Certification Marks. Think of them as brands (and logos) that represent halal verification checks as represented by each of their own organisations. Should there be cases of logo misuse, it could constitute as misleading the public which could result in legal action by the logo owners.
For when you’re considering to eat somewhere outside:
Check for the one Halal Certification of the entire eating establishment (ranging from food shops to restaurants)
In Singapore, Halal Certification under the Eating Establishment Scheme covers the entire food preparation process, including (but not limited to) ingredients, prepping areas and utensils used, covering halal status of the entire stall / restaurant / kiosk outlets.
When a Halal Certificate is issued, it is also tied to the name and address of the establishment that applied for it. So check that the address displayed on the halal certificate is also the address of where you are reading it. The name on the halal certificate should also match the name of the shop.
Here’s a legit Halal Certificate, courtesy of one of the merchants listed on halalfoodhunt.com, UYI Savoury Squids, for your closer inspection.
Also, remember to check for the expiry date to ensure the certificate is still valid!
No Halal Cert, or their owners don’t “look Muslim” enough for you?
Look for Halal Risk Factors to determine if it fits your halal ‘comfort’ levels
As per our previous article, halalfoodhunt.com checks if the owner of the food establishment is Muslim in the event that it does not have a valid Halal Certificate. This is mainly because the default responsibility of ensuring that the food is halal then falls on the Muslim-owner.
But, what if you can’t verify the ownership of the stall / restaurants / kiosk? If you can’t, then it is up to you to verify the halal status of the Food Establishment for yourself. Here’s a guide to help you!
Once you’re done going through the guide, read on for a case study on the application of this halal verification thought process.