Halal Food Authority (HFA)

Halal Food Authority (HFA)

The Halal Food Authority (HFA) is an independent non-profit organisation involved in the supervision, inspection, audit, certification, and compliance of halal principles and practices in the UK food and beverages industry. As well as:

  • To establish the most practicable and robust halal assurance system facilitating comprehensive traceability of halal food serving the Muslim community and halal industry.
  • Provide a high level of professional advice and service to consumers and manufacturers through education and awareness in the halal industry on halal related matters as the first point of contact.
  • To become a part of scientific research and innovation schemes and projects and to seek and utilise all available resources to further develop the global halal industry.

The HFA also have a board of scholars and are in touch with Halal food committees all around the world. You will see their logo on many products available in supermarkets and know that they also certify KFC Halal Chicken.

Their Official Website: Halal Food Authority

The HFA provide this official statement on their views on slaughtering:

Meat slaughtering and Stunning
In general, all forms of stunning and unconsciousness of animals are disliked. However, for the sake of animal welfare (a concept greatly promoted in Islam) measures can be taken to calm the animal or/and mitigate the violence of large-size animals or/and overcome the issue of handling & controlling the bird/animal during the slaughtering process in a fast-paced slaughtering environment is permissible.

To achieve this, a low voltage shock can be used on the head to immobilize and make the animal insensitive to pain. The stunning parameters used are known not to kill the animal, must be reversible (animal achieves consciousness in minutes) and use for ‘stun to stun’, and not kill the animal. Any parameters used which results in death are strictly prohibited in Islamic slaughter.

Stunning through a non-penetrating device to the head, in a way that does it not kill the animal before its slaughter, is permitted, provided that the following conditions are adhered to: Animals shall remain alive during and after stunning and on slaughtering, which is marked with the post-slaughtering movement. If they are dead before slaughtering, they shall be deemed fatally beaten animals (Mawqouza). Any animal which dies before slaughtering for any reason shall be declared as carrion, not permissible to be consumed by Muslims.

HFA clarify that:

  • All Slaughter men are Muslims. Although the Book of Fiqh and Fatawa’s permits non-Muslims to do halal slaughtering. HFA believes that their intention for rendition of Shahadah would not be the same as of a Muslim.
  • HFA only uses slaughter men licensed by the Food Standards Agency ( FSA)
  • HFA approves slaughter men by verifying they are Muslim, believers in Imaan, Salah, Fast, Zakat and Hajj as well that they believe the Prophet Muhammad is the final Prophet. Successful candidates are licensed by the Meat Hygiene Services, York, through the Official Veterinary Surgeon.
  • The Slaughter men face the Qibla
  • All slaughter is done manually by hand
  • HFA do not allow slaughtering whilst the shahada is played on tape recorder in the back ground. All slaughter men must recite Bismillahi-Allahu Akbar on each and every animal.
  • It is not mandatory for animals do not hear the shahadah, tasmiyya or takbir. Usually in such slaughter houses, there is much background noise, sometimes even the slaughter man can’t hear himself.
  • All KFC approved by HFA are completely ‘PORK FREE’ and all products and ingredients are rigorously checked and authenticated for halal status.
  • HFA allows stunning but maintain “no stunning to kill.” In Summary:
    1. Captive Bolt Stunning – HFA do not allow
    2. Percussion Stunning – HFA do not allow
    3. Electric Stunning – HFA allows controlled electric stun-with-minuscule amperage, with official Veterinary Surgeon validating that the animal or the birds do not die prior to slaughtering. There are two types of electric stunning that Halal Food Authority approves:
      1. Water-bath Stun – for Poultry
      2. Electric-Tong Stun – for Ovine meat

You can ready their certification procedure here: HFA Certification Procedure (halalfoodauthority.com)

Other logos by HFA you may recognise

5 thoughts on “Halal Food Authority (HFA)

  1. Stunned = haram.
    It’s quite simple. The only issue clouding this simple statement would be money.

    1. the HFA are a non-profit organisation, so money doesn’t really come into this.
      Maybe it’s simply a case of taking a more lenient approach for convenience, which is still bound by the realms within Fiqh

  2. Alhamdulillah, this is a great article.
    Many Muslims are extremely mistaken when it comes to the HFA, and they have banded Nando’s into the mix when it comes to the list of approved establishments. HFA has never approved Nando’s for multiple reasons, primarily being the alcohol on the premises doesn’t fit their criteria.
    Even though their methods are not as stringent as the HMC for example, the clarity which they have provided around their due process is great to be able to see, and their explanation around stunning can be validated by other resources. I think it makes things very easy and clear i.e. :
    1. If you want to take the best and most thorough approach, only eat at HMC approved establishments
    2. If you are content with a more lenient approach, which is viable and acceptable by all accounts, then HFA approved establishments are also permissible
    3. If you want to eat at places which are certified “halal” by non-muslim organisations, then bypass both of the above and eat at establishments like Nandos and others.

    1. I have read today on the HFA website that they do machine slaughtering whereas this website clearly states that they hand slaughter. This website needs updating. Machine slaughtering can never be halal.

      1. Salam brother. Their website states in the FAQ’s: “Does HFA accept mechanical (fixed blade) slaughter? No, all slaughter is done manually by hand to comply with HFA guidelines.” Please share your evidence of the contrary

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