@Halal May/Jun 2020 - Page 4

04 Local News @Halal | may-june. 2020 Prevention better than cure Halal Best Practices share common values in mitigating spread of Covid-19 pandemic The global virus outbreak, which has affected about four million people worldwide, has impacted the norm. The World Health Organization (WHO) labelled the virus as Covid-19. It is more harmful to the elderly and young children. Transmission of Covid-19 is through direct contact from respiratory droplets of an infected person through coughing and sneezing. Communication is generally through proximity, i.e. shaking hands, and touching contaminated surfaces. To stay safe and avoid being infected, one must be at all times, ensure cleanliness and hygiene as utmost practices. This is why Halal best practices play a vital role since all the guidelines have already been established and practised by Muslims and non-Muslims. The Halal best practices were prepared and adopted by experts, healthcare practitioners and business owners in their routines and are now guidelines for all. Everyone should be practising self-hygiene and in business operations throughout the supply chain. How international practices and halal best practices are related In Islam, cleanliness and hygiene are part of faith, and in the Quran, Allah SWT says – “... Indeed Allah loves the penitent, and He loves those who keep clean.” The word halal means permissible and lawful. Halal covers all aspects of life, and it is a universal meaning for both Muslims and non-Muslims. As we know for Muslims, halal food, products and services, meet the requirements stated by Shariah law. For non-Muslims, it represents wholesomeness or thoiyyib — hygiene, safety and quality of the products. Halal Best Practices are in sync with other leading ethical practices. It includes methods by the Food and Agriculture Organisation Food should not only be halal but also be hygienic and safe. (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Codex Alimentarius Food Hygiene (Basic Texts) 4th Edition, making halal products and services relevant to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The above leading ethical practices rule that food hygiene encompasses conditions and measures necessary to ascertain the safety and suitability of food at all stages of the supply chain. Food hygiene Food hygiene is a part of halal, which complies with Shariah requirements and with verse 2:168 from the Quran state that; to consume a thing it must not only be halal, but it shall also be hygienic and safe. The verse mentioned a ruling that impure, harmful things like consuming wildlife and exotic animals as food are unlawful. Food hygiene refers to practices ensuring the quality of food. There should be no The Halal best practices were prepared and adopted by experts, healthcare practitioners and business owners in their routines and are now guidelines for all. Everyone should be practising selfhygiene and in business operations throughout the supply chain.” contamination (directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly) of chemicals and microorganisms. It is crucial to create and maintain hygienic and healthy conditions of the food which also known as food safety. It covers hygiene in the production, handling, storage, distribution and serving. The objectives are to prevent food spoilage, to protect food from adulteration and intentional contamination, to give awareness to people about practical and straightforward methods of keeping food safe against food-borne diseases. Similar to halal, food hygiene is further reinforced by the verse 2:195 in the Quran, which mentions that people should avoid every kind of destruction, including harm from food. This includes unclean food. This is to prevent hazards which can lead to illness and poisoning. Not all food handlers and consumers understand their roles, such as adopting basic hygienic practices when buying, selling and preparing food to protect their health and that of the wider community (WHO – Food Safety), which is similar to Halal Best Practices. Important tips introduced in handling and preparing food One should take precautionary steps including; • To wipe clean food packaging like cans with disinfectant before being opened or stored. • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water and remove any unnecessary packaging and dispose into a dustbin. • Do not consume wildlife and exotic animals as food, the likelihood of this type of food associated with the global coronavirus pandemic outbreak. • To cook food according to the recommended temperature. • To use clean utensils and adopting basic hygienic practices at all times. Halal Development Corporation (HDC), through its Training and Consultancy Services, offers a wide range of courses and advisories to assist business owners and the public in the great vision of halal best practices and businesses. Please contact onlinetraining@hdcglobal. com or consultancy@hdcglobal.com for further inquiries.