Our customer-facing team members at The Halal Guys continuously report that customers often ask them about the meaning of Halal food. Some customers assume it is the name of a meal or a type of food. But it is not quite that simple.
What is Halal?
Halal is an Arabic word that means lawful or permitted. So, Halal food means any food that can be consumed by Muslims and must follow the guidelines and observance of Islamic law.
Halal is a vast word that Muslims use not just with food but with lifestyle. Halal is not only what Muslims consume. It is how they live, how they earn, and how they treat others. Some of the food and beverage that Muslims do not consume are alcohol, pork, dead animals, cannibalistic animals, are horses, among others.
The Halal Guys is Halal Certified, so, what does it mean?
For a product to be Halal certified, it means that it is lawful and acceptable under Islamic guidelines. Muslims living in non-Islamic countries look for Halal certification before consuming food, whereas in Islamic countries, like throughout the Middle East and Indonesia, all food is Halal.
Halal meat is healthier because animals raised the Halal way are grown with much care versus animals raised on factory farms. Animals are free to graze, and are grass-fed with no antibiotics and hormones treatment.
Any ordinary meat can’t be certified as Halal unless it fulfills all guidelines set forth by Islam.
The process of obtaining a Halal meat certificate:
Halal meat certificates play a significant role for Muslims. It encourages Muslims to choose Halal meat. Different organizations are present that control and examine the food industries to certify them with Halal certificates.
To obtain a Halal meat certificate, food companies must go through the following stages set by Islamic dietary law:
- Application for Halal Supervision and Certification
- Pre-screening of products
- Halal Assurance System
- Halal Manual and Standard Halal Operating System
- Internal Audit and Evaluation
- Plant Inspection
- Agreement and contract
- Annual Certification Issuance
The Halal Guys boasts four Halal certifications for its chicken and beef gyro, obtained from Halal Food Counseling USA, Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of Canada, Association Muslimane de Certification, and Halalco. The Halal Guys goes above and beyond these four certificates by actually visiting the animal farms to make sure the Halal process lives up to best practices.
As many of you know, The Halal Guys started with a hot dog cart in New York City in 1990, then switched to selling halal food because of the Muslim cab drivers who were looking for Halal food in alignment with their culture and beliefs. Although it might seem that our niche market at the beginning was Muslims, now we serve American Halal Food to everyone, and we are thrilled to do so.