It is possible to maintain Kosher and halal laws while safeguarding safe hygiene principles?
Kosher and Halal laws were passed down by religious tradition and have their origins deep in the history of two of the worlds major religions, namely Judaism and Islam.
These laws, each belonging to their respective religion were put in place to safeguard several principles concerning the production of food and slaughter of animals. Firstly, to safeguard public health as far as possible considering the understanding of hygiene in those ancient and primitive times and secondly, to maintain a humane régime in the preparation for slaughter and the killing of animals. And thirdly, to offer appropriate prayer and blessing to God, the provider of the bounty.
Both Kosher and Halal slaughter can be performed under very hygienic and safe conditions and in contrast, quite the oposite can also be the case.
In order to perform these traditions safely the religious authorities responsible for the slaughter of animals must work in conjunction with certain regulatory bodies which are a) the local and national vetinary regulatory bodies, b) the department of public health, c) the health and safety executive (or FDA), d) ISO 9002, E) GMP, and finally f) HACCP.
All those slaughter service providers who work outside of the jurisdiction of these bodies must be avoided at all costs. Your health will be seriously at risk if you choose to cut expenses and work through illegal or partisan operations.
When buying Kosher or Halal products always look for the stamp of the vetinary regulatory authorities on the packaging or if you are buying from a butcher ask him to show you a) his licenses and authorizations, and b) the license and authorization stamps for the meat being sold. If you have any doubt or suspicions, do not buy from that establishment. Don’t take risks. Remember, also to check that meats and fish are being correctly and hygienically stored at the right temperatures (if frozen -18 degrees celcius or if chilled, 4 degrees celcius).