Important changes in HFA criteria
Pork/Porcine material handling and processing
Due to the recent developments in scientific testing of intermediate and finished food
products in UK retail markets and owing to the outcomes of various investigations carried out by enforcing and regulatory bodies on horse meat contamination in beef products, Halal Food Authority (HFA) has decided to incorporate in its policies and criteria of accrediting establishment/s where pork or porcine materials are likely to be stored, handled or processed, albeit with demarcation, clearly and strategically placed science for separation and, these are stated below.
All halal poultry, meat and food processors shall now be required to dedicate a halal production environment isolating all storage, handling, production, labelling and transportation operations including all similar activities to avoid potential cross contamination and presence of any foreign DNA in halal products. Amended criteria shall be construed to be as follows:
1. All halal poultry and meat shall be sourced from suppliers who hold valid halal accreditation or certificate from a reputable and recognised halal certification organisation. Self certification for halal status of meat and poultry shall not be acceptable for the purposes of authenticating either finished or processed product or intermediary product for further supply.
2. All halal production shall be carried out using dedicated separate set of equipment, utensils, lines and storage which under no circumstances shall come in contact with pork or porcine materials.
3. HFA reserves the right to carry out unannounced audit(s) of your processing facility/facilities to perform verification checks and routine surveillance of your halal manufacturing operations in line with the information provided to HFA. HFA auditors shall be provided with access to the site and relevant records and information upon request at any point during announced or unannounced audit(s). In the event of denied access to the site or relevant information during un-announced audit, a major non-conformance or fissure may be concluded which will result in the suspension and eventual withdrawal of halal certification of the facility and products in the scope.
4. HFA has also decided to arrange for your halal products to be tested for foreign DNA (including meat/s and poultry) to protect the halal integrity of your products and HFA endorsement in the interest of consumers and Muslim community at large. HFA reserves the right to arrange for these DNA tests to be carried out mandatorily. In line with potential guidance from FSA with regards to stricter controls on food labelling, this would be in your own interest to co-operate with HFA regarding these tests on your finished products. If you are unable to dedicate a complete environment for halal production in isolation of pork/porcine materials, and continue to use your production facilities for processing porcine and halal without the required isolation, HFA shall have no other option but to terminate our accreditation agreement with you withdrawing your current halal certificate. No cleansing/hygienic regime shall substitute the above mentioned requirements of isolation of pork. Lastly, we hope that the relevant personnel would be clearly instructed to facilitate unannounced visits from HFA auditors by offering them access to the manufacturing site within 30 minutes of their arrival. You are also required to provide them with full co-operation with operational and technical information when requested.We strongly believe that you would do your utmost to abide by these amendments to HFA certification criteria; enabling us to provide you with our continued service and after service for the years to come.