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Understanding halal food

Understanding halal food

Halal food generally refers to what's allowed under Islamic law. It's the opposite of haram, which means unlawful or prohibited.

Meat can be halal or haram, depending on how the animal was slaughtered. Halal meat is usually labelled as such in most non-muslim countries, and fruits and vegetables are always halal.


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Halal meat

Halal meat

For meat to be certified halal, it must be slaughtered in a manner known as dhabiha. It means cutting through the jugular vein, carotid artery, and windpipe in order to drain all blood from the carcass.

Consuming blood is considred haram. During the process, a Muslim must recite a dedication known as tasmiya or shahada. Carrion, when an animal dies of illness or natural causes, is also considered haram.

Some animals are always haram to eat, such as pork, donkeys and horses, fanged animals (cat, dogs, bears, etc), birds of prey, reptiles, and animals such as donkeys.


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Halal food

Halal food

Vegan food is alway halal except if it contains alcohol, which is considered haram.

Vegetarian food, such as dairy and eggs, depends on one's interpretaion of Islamic law. This is because:

  • Dairy and eggs are often produced by methods involving non-halal animal slaughter. Cheese could also contain non-halal animal rennet.
  • Some animals are often fed non-halal products as part of their diet, such as pork by-products.


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