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Halal in non-Islamic countries
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Halal in non-Islamic countries

Halal certificate issued for dairy products by a German registered merchant.

In Dearborn, Michigan, United States, home to one of the largest Muslim and Arab populations in the United States, a number of fast food chains like McDonald's introduced halal chicken nuggets.

Recent laws passed in the United States have made it illegal to sell, distribute, and/or produce food that has been mislabeled "halal," when it is determined that the food does not meet Islamic dietary standards. Similar laws protect kosher foods. Some were struck down by the courts as an unconstitutional sanction of religious provisions, but others were upheld as consumer protection regulations. See Kashrut.
McDonald's is intending to offer Halal meals in the United Kingdom with two of its franchises currently on trial, offering this service. After success in Australia where sales doubled as a result of McDonald's changing a restaurant to cater of the needs of Muslims. All McDonald's Restaurants in Singapore are Halal certified.

Australian halal certificate for chocolate.

Malaysian halal certificate for a coffee's brand

Depending on which definition of halal a Muslim chooses to adhere to, and the strictness with which the person chooses to adhere to it, living in a non-Muslim country can pose minimal or great difficulty.

Dhabiĥa Halal

Dhabiĥa halal is relatively difficult to adhere to in a non-Muslim country:

• Depending on the presence or absence of a significant Muslim population in the area, finding grocery stores, meat stores, and restaurants which serve/sell dhabiĥa halal foods can be extremely difficult.

• The abundance of pork and non-dhabiha meats at restaurants presents a rather difficult problem to overcome. While a Muslim will not order a non-dhabiĥa halal dish, there is a concern about cross-contamination. This is likely to occur when the dhabiĥa halal dish is prepared with the same cooking tools as other non-dhabiĥa halal dishes. Food and juices from the two dishes are likely to be exchanged, technically rendering the dhabiĥa halal dish as haraam.

• Many apparently meat-free dishes, and even some desserts, contain pork, gelatin, or other non-conforming substances. There is also a concern in the Muslim community about food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) that may use enzymes derived from pig fat in the production process. It is very difficult to avoid such food additives as they are widely used and are not declared on restaurant menus.

• Alcohol, especially wine, is frequently used in cooking. It is largely used in sauces and cakes, and is also present as an ingredient in vanilla and other extracts. Some contend that this is not a concern, so long as the alcohol has been thoroughly burned off in the cooking process.

Since the turn of the century, there have been efforts to create organizations such as the Muslim Consumer Group that certify food products as halal for Muslim consumers.


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posted by Beebee @ 9:40 PM  
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