Halal Traceability

Categories: Halal Standards

Halal Traceability

“Traceability” is derived from its verb-form, ‘trace’, which is defined as ascertaining the successive stages in the development or progress of something, etc.; or to follow, locate, or discover the course or trail of (a cause, for example) by searching or researching the evidence.

“Traceability” is therefore a pedantic, systematic approach or mechanism, tracking and checking when a particular process for a ḥalāl product began (its causes, etc.); where it came from, where it has gone and where it is going to.

“Traceability” furthermore implies strict adherence to the thorough scrutiny of the paper-trail or traceability protocols.

Without a ḥalāl traceability system/profile, any ḥalāl certification process is defectively flawed!

The Traceability Protocols

The ḥalāl supervisor, monitor, inspector or officer must, at all times, have the methodical vigilance of the traceability system of any ḥalāl certified production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, importing, exporting, etc., or fast foods, warehousing, central kitchens, plants or abattoirs, etc.

Nowadays, at most of the ḥalāl certified businesses or facilities there are computerized systems, like the JDE system for Product Quality Control, which is also denoted as the ‘traceability’ or history of the product.

  • Through such a computerized system a Bar-Code (or job-lot) System is managed per or for each production unit (Batch) or every commodity, etc.; nowadays every product, for example, has a “Batch No.” on it.
  • The system records and keeps track (numerically and/or codified) of the origin of the raw material with product specifications (like specie, type, grading, quality and quantity, etc.) to the end-product.
  • Thus, the information is retained and maintained on the computerized system – as a record – from product origin to the end-product, to the consumer traceability-system.
  • The system can also be used for stock reconciliation (stock-taking) of the finished product, from product-origin to product-buyer/consumer.
  • The computerized information may also be downloaded to maintain a paper-trail for the production unit (Batch).
  • Traceability-product records are generally kept or stored for three (3) to five (5) years before they are discarded or destroyed.
  • The JDE system is intra-net and extranet compatible, i.e. it is accessible internally on the premises and for others who are away from the premises, maybe in another country.

General guidelines for ḥalāl officer’s scrutiny system

Herewith are some General Guidelines for the ḥalāl officer’s scrutiny system [Check List], as methodical vigilance of the ḥalāl traceability system, which may be benchmarked for any ḥalāl certified business or facility:

Personal: The Ḥalāl Traceability Officer

  • The officer must be au fait with the type of business or facility he/she is going to inspect.
  • The officer must be familiar with the function or operation systems he/she is checking on and how many Muslims are working in this ḥalāl section and/or at the facility.
  • The officer must be knowledgeable of the product(s) and/or has the necessary documents or paperwork, pertaining to the product(s) and/or the operation he/she is going to inspect.
  • The officer must be able to read and write; and has a basic understanding of computer-literacy.
  • The officer must be appropriately attired and similarly representing the MJCHT in a professional manner, displaying the MJCHT’s Corporate Image and observing its Dress Code.

Administration: The Ḥalāl Business or Facility

  • The officer checks out the premises, transport/conveyance system, etc.
  • The officer scrutinizes the paper trail of the product, consignment or delivery, e.g. invoices, List of raw material and the ḥalāl status of wherever applicable, etc.
  • The officer analyzes the Bar Code and the labelling of the product, consignment or delivery, etc.
  • Depending on the type of facility, business he/she is conducting the traceability-scrutiny, the officer has to further examine the facility systematically, on similar lines as the following three (3) examples for Imports/Exports, cross-referencing the relevant paper-trail and the traceability ‘footprint’ the product/commodity had gone through:-
  • The seal numbers
  • The container number
  • The authentication of the ḥalāl certificates, viz. original, signed certificates from both supplier and ḥalāl certifier
  • The Bill of Lading certificate on which the consignment/container number is printed
  • The Veterinary certificate
  • The Health certificate
  • The ḥalāl (Slaughter) certificate
  • The Inventory of Contents certificate
  • The amount of cartons/barrels in the container against the specified number on the consignment note (e.g. the Lot (Batch) numbers, production & expiry dates and loading date, etc.)
  • The VAT certificate
  • That all documentation has been forwarded to the MJCHT offices for purposes of verification and ḥalāl certification
  • That the official, clearly marked/labelled MJCHT Logo is on each container in which there are ḥalāl products ready for shipping to foreign countries
  • That these containers are/were packed under the supervision of the MJCHT in-house monitors
  • That the MJCHT monitors have recorded the containers and seal numbers prior to shipping of the ḥalāl products to any country.
  • That all ḥalāl certified consignments are accompanied by an (a) ḥalāl Export certificate (b) Veterinary certificate (c) Health certificate (d) The ḥalāl (Slaughter) certificate (e) Bill of Lading certificate and (f) Inventory of Contents certificate (g) VAT Certificate.
  • The official MJCHT Logo with the ḥalāl reference number (where applicable) marked/labelled on the individual boxes/packaging/wrappings/barrels, etc. that is ready for shipping (exporting) for another country or foreign ḥalāl
  • That all documentation has been forwarded to the MJCHT offices for purposes of verification and ḥalāl certification
  • This is mentioned here for the purposes that the Officer must have the vigilance of checking out the relevant paper-trail and the traceability ‘footprint’ the product/commodity had gone through.
  • The receiving area.
  • The casings cleaning and monitoring area.
  • The casings selection / calibrating / grading and colour-coding sections.
  • The casings barrel-packaging and sealing section.
  • The casings storage / refrigeration / cold room area.
  • The casings dispatch area.
  • The casings loading area and transporting system.
  • Designated staff members to work in the ḥalāl area.
  • For clearly identification-purposes, colour-coded clothing (e.g. green) must be provided to the staff members who work with the ḥalāl casings from start to finish.
  • To avoid contamination, separate staff or changing rooms must be provided to the staff members who work with the ḥalāl casings.
  • The ḥalāl processing area must be clearly marked / identified with “ḥalāl” signs or notice boards.
  • The equipment must be colour-coded, indicating that it can only be used for ḥalāl.
  • The barrels, designated for the ḥalāl casings, must be clearly and boldly marked with ḥalāl.

 

 

Author: Muslim Judicial Council Halaal Trust

The MJC Halaal Trust (MJCHT) is a major role-player in the positive promotion of and orientation on halal lifestyle for South African Muslims, specifically and other communities, globally. The MJCHT specializes in the certification and endorsement of food commodities and other consumables as halal, in accordance with Islamic principles, ethics, values and standards.

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