Achahada Halal Charter
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To answer the needs of consumers and professionals who want to provide themselves with meat of high quality and strictly Halal, a strategy was set up by “ACHAHADA” aiming at controlling the sector of meat and elaborating Halal’s meat products. “ACHAHADA” is a certification associated with a quite specific logo. In order to guarantee the quality of meat products, “ACHAHADA’s” goal is to ensure the strict compliance with the Islamic religious rules regarding the selection of animals, their ritual slaughter and their transformation into halal meat. Several axes were identified whether in the upper or lower levels of this sector in order to determine the specificities of this strategy or approach.
Thus, the present charter’s objectives are:
- describing the missions and goals of ACHAHADA.
- formalizing our policy of halal certification.
- setting up the main principles, guidelines and functioning of the ACHAHADA association.
Our charter seeks to provide readable references for users, partners, and professionals who work within the sector of meat and halal products.
This charter also defines the requirements to be respected in order to commercialize the meat and/or products, which have the approval or certification “ACHAHADA”.
1. ACHAHADA Association
The ACHAHADA association was created in 2009 after a sad statement. Indeed the halal meat market turned to become full of many doubtful practices such as; the sale of products under fake label, the certification of some organizations without realizing any preliminary control upon them and the use of electro-narcosis or electroshocks as well as the misuse of mechanically recovered meat.
Feeling disappointed by this fact, ACHAHADA decides to cooperate with collaborators, who have many years of experience in the sector of halal meat, in order to achieve an ambitious objective.
ACHAHADA is a service provided for any person who is interested in buying halal meat originated from the Muslim ritual slaughter. Our main objective is thus to cleanse and purify the halal sector from all problems related to frauds, doubts and unrighteousness.
In order to achieve our goal, we have adopted the following policy:
- We serve the whole community.
- We authenticate only what we see and control.
- We work with all those of goodwill, who are anxious to guarantee the halal characteristic of meat control.
1.3. DEFINITION OF THE HALAL MEAT BY ACHAHADA
According to ACHAHADA association, the halal meat results exclusively from ritual slaughters carried out by a Muslim practitioner, endowed with reason, and without any preliminary stunning or electro-narcosis before or after the bleeding. The slaughter of animals must be done in the following manner:
- total Immobilization of the animal before any intervention.
- Before the bleeding, the Muslim practitioner or agent, who is employed to realize the sacrifice, should invoke the BISMILLAH on each animal.
- Using an extremely sharp instrument, the cutting should be carried out on the larynx, the jugular veins, the carotid arteries, without affecting the spinal column.
This operation must be carried out by an agent of the ACHAHADA association or, at the very least, under his control.
In order to protect the right of Muslims consuming a strictly halal meat, our control is carried out all along the meat development process.
2.1. IN THE SLAUGHTERHOUSES, CUTTING WORKSHOPS AND MEAT TREATMENT CENTERS
The control of meat packers and slaughterhouses, which are associated to the present certification, relates in particular to the traceability of the animals’ carcasses.
The control of cutting workshops and meat treatment centers relates in particular to:
- The traceability of quarters or zones and other parts that hold the ACHAHADA stamps.
- The presence of ACHAHADA sticks, which are relative to our control on the carcasses’ quarters and the large parts in vacuum.
A very important point relates to the use of mechanically separated meat. Even if this process remains halal, we point out to the fact that the product, which results from this technique, has a much lower quality regarding the protein level and the nutritive characteristic of the meat. Thus, we do not certify the products carried out of such kind of processes.
2.2. IN THE RETAIL STORES:
The control of retail stores relates in particular to:
- the commitment of suppliers, who are involved in the approach;
- the methods of control adopted by the operators when receiving the carcasses and meat quarters;
- the traceability of the cut and sored meat under the “ACHAHADA” signature and some additional statements if necessary;
- the existence and the conformity of the documents and the corresponding records.
2.3. FREQUENCY OF CONTROLS
ACHAHADA applies on each licensed site a number of controls, summarized in the table below:
|Category||Frequency of Controls|
|Cutting Workshops||Permanent Control|
|Development Meat Center||Permanent Control|
|Butcheries||2 unannounced controls per day (every day of the year)|
|Restaurants||2 unannounced controls per day (every day of the year)|
3. THE CONTROL
This chapter presents our methods with different operators who work within the sector.
3.1.FOR EACH INTERVENTION
We are present on the sites 1 hour before each intervention.
Our controllers wear the official uniform, which is composed of an overall with the effigy or logo of ACHAHADA, hygienic boots, gloves, a hat covering the hair and a mask.
Any Halal production is realised during the first hour of work on an equipment, which was cleaned the day before.
We check the state of the site and pay attention to the cleanliness of all the equipment which is used during the intervention. If necessary, the equipment could be cleaned again in the presence of our controllers.
We always check the state and cleanliness:
- Of the restraint boxes
- Of the machines
- Of the conveyors
- Of the cases
- Of the offal rooms
- Of the storage chillers
- As well as the whole circuit where the meat is likely to pass.
During our interventions, we abstain from authenticating the meat, if any doubt remains regarding the lawfulness of the merchandise.
At the end of all intervention at one of our licensed collaborators, we make sure the equipment is carefully cleaned.
Our controllers ensure that nothing was left on the site.
3.2. THE CONTROL OF SLAUGHTER
The controllers who are employed by ACHAHADA are committed to respect the health monitoring, the food supply, and the general environment where animals are kept. They are also committed to observe and survey the good treatment of animals intended to undergo the ritual sacrifice. This is in order to be in compliance with the Islamic rite.
The eligible animals for the ACHAHADA certification should enjoy the following characteristics:
- they belong to the race of cattle, sheep, goat or poultry.
- they are alive and conscious at the time of the bleeding or sacrifice.
- they do have neither infirmity nor disease.
In order to ensure the respect of these various points, all animals, intended to be sacrificed, are to undergo an ante-mortem examination by the veterinary services.
We remind that our main activity relates only to the control and not to the sacrifice itself.
Thus, a priest who is related to the site realizes himself the slaughter. We make sure that the priest is Muslim practitioner licensed and entitled to exert the sacrifice.
All slaughter interventions is carried out in the presence of one of our controllers.
If the site does not have a priest, we exceptionally accept to employ someone for the intervention.
In order to facilitate this practice, the slaughter process is imperatively realized at the beginning of the activity and no other slaughters must be carried out before.
3.2.A. SACRIFICE OF CATTLE/ SHEEP
Before slaughter, our controllers note the number of the first beast to sacrifice. Thus, the controllers have in their possession an information document regarding the slaughter process, on which they note the number of the slaughtered animal’s ear.
Once they are in the restraint box, the animal is immobilized and positioned on the left side towards the ground, the trap of the animal is leaned around 90° to prevent that it is not choked. This is done in conformity with the veterinary prescriptions. It should be noted that the animal is never sacrificed in a suspended position.
In order to avoid any ante-mortem stress before the bleeding, we take care of the good treatment of animals.
The knife of the priest is cleaned and sharpened well before the process.
The priest takes a great care not to show the knife to the animal before the bleeding. Moreover, we underline the fact that the sacrifice of an animal is never to be carried out under the view of another animal.
ACHAHADA asks the priest to head the animal towards the direction of MECCA (Al Qibla).
During the bleeding, the priest expresses the intention to make the sacrifice and pronounces the BISMILLAH. Then he cuts manually and simultaneously:
- the trachea under the larynx
- the carotid arteries
- the jugular veins without cutting the spinal-cord.
Our controllers check that the gesture of the priest is quite in conformity with the Islamic rite. Our controllers are the only judges of the authenticity of this gesture.
After bleeding, the animal is released only when it is completely inert. No intervention is allowed on the animal during this period of time. We carry out a control of the retinal reflex, in order to be assured about the animal death.
Between each sacrifice we make sure that everything is cleaned whether the restraint boxes, the walls, the ground but also the sacrifice knife. It is noteworthy that the knife is also sharpened before each bleeding.
In case, a dead animal is re-introduced into the restraint box, the animal in question, as well as the following and previous ones are immediately eliminated from our certification process and all the meat circuit is cleaned once again.
The evisceration is carried out directly after the slaughter. The offal are recovered into some cases. They are carefully identified then sealed.
The meat which originate from the carcasses or the offal are never in contact with the ground.
A stamp is applied on the carcasses according to a precise plan:
- on the back quarters, to the sirloin at the level of the fourth lumbar vertebra.
- on the hindquarters, at the level of the chest, and approximately 20 centimeters far from the slit of the sternum.
- a marking is also applied beside the number of the animal.
We do also check the state of the carcasses. If they present any dark spots or if a large portion of the meat was removed, the ACHAHADA excludes those products from the certification process.
3.2.B. THE SACRIFICE OF POULTRIES
Before any sacrifice, we check that the poultries are alive and conscious.
Thus, we do not accept any stunning during the ritual slaughter of animals whether it is by electro-narcosis or electric shock. No animal intended for a traditional slaughter (with a preliminary shock) could be slaughtered within a group of animals intended to receive ACHAHADA certification.
Any animal, which have already been killed but arriving from the room of live animals, is considered illegal and is immediately eliminated from the process of certification.
The animal is sacrificed in a suspended position. The priest formulates his intention to make the sacrifice and pronounces the BISMILLAH. Then he cuts manually the neck of the poultries.
Once out of the slaughter center, we make sure of the total death of animals before their passage in the scalding case.
We also inspect the neck of each animal in order to ensure the conformity of the slaughter with the Islamic rite. In case of non-compliance, the carcass and the by-products are eliminated from the certification process.
As it is the case with the slaughter of sheep/cattle, we check the state of the carcasses, which are thoroughly inspected before any certification from our side.
After the slaughter, our association ensures the application of the ACHAHADA effigy on the carcasses.
The logos are conscientiously applied on the carcasses and the offal are collected into cases and then sealed.
3.3. THE CUTTING AND TRANSFORMATION
We make sure that the meat, which arrive in the cutting and transformation workshops are correctly sealed and hold the ACHAHADA stamp.
All packed meat are open with the presence of a controller on behalf of the ACHAHADA association. It is noteworthy that all open packed meat, cannot be certified and will be thus isolated from the production operation.
In case of doubt regarding lawfulness of the goods, then the controller will abstain from authenticating the meat.
During the convoying of meat on the cutting lines and the transformation circuit, we take care that the meat, which received the ACHAHADA certification, and the other meat do not come into contact.
ACHAHADA also checks the raw materials used for the transformation of meat. We make sure that:
- the offal is well sealed and carefully identified,
- the additives are well subscribed in the composition of the transformation recipes and they comply with the specifications of our association,
- No mechanically recovered meats are used in the products.
After the filling, our controllers ensure the automatic labelling of ACHAHADA. Adhesive labels carrying the ACHAHADA logo and the number of traceability are applied on the package.
4. THE TRACEABILITY
In order to ensure the maximum security on our controls, we refer to some rigorous methods of traceability.
4.1. METHODS OF TRACEABILITY
Our certification is applied by affixing the ACHAHADA stamps, logos, package, adhesive tapes and labels. All of it bearing the effigy of ACHAHADA on our controlled products.
During the control, our agents do never leave their authentication equipment without any sort of monitoring or protection.
The carcasses are stamped in food-grade ink with a color of the association choice. This is in accordance with the applicable standards. Upon getting out of the slaughterhouse, the ACHAHADA tampons are checked on the carcass of the animal.
The packages are sealed by an adhesive tape or a specific scotch tape of ACHAHADA.
Thus, the eligible carcasses are identified by means of a marking and a tampon including:
- The ACHAHADA mention,
- The code of traceability,
- And a specific and renewed form each week.
For the under vacuum wrapping meat, the date of wrapping could replace the slaughter date in order to enable the distributors to manage the validity period of the product.
After wrapping, our controllers put the “ACHAHADA” label on the meat packets.
4.2. TRACEABILITY EQUIPMENT AND TOOLS
The ACHAHADA association orders its equipment in a discrete and confidential way. Our orders are exclusively treated by our trustworthy suppliers.
Our labels are numbered and highly secured.
Our stamps have different forms and hold the ACHAHADA mark. Moreover, in order to guarantee a maximum of safety and security, they have an interchangeable code, which is made up of a number, a Latin letter and an Arab one.
The codes and numbers of all control equipment are strictly confidential. They are renewed every week and are filed in a centralized database.
Our controllers are responsible of their equipment; they never let them out of their sight. It is noteworthy to mention that no stamp or label is left on the site, which we control, without the presence of one of our controllers, who is the only owner of those tools.
4.3. RULES FOR THE LOGOS’ USE
The “ACHAHADA” certification is characterized near all consumers by the use of a specific logo, which appears on each certified product.
The “ACHAHADA” logo is exclusively reserved for the use of professionals who are committed and engaged in the approach of the ACHAHADA certification.
The “ACHAHADA” logo is conceived and diffused by and near all our committed operators. It is described in a graphic charter, which is compulsory. Our logo can be coupled to some private brands, after the agreement of the ACHAHADA association and according to the 1901 law.
If an operator wishes to develop a specific support of communication by associating the “ACHAHADA” logo with his own brand, he must conform strictly with the charter of use of the “ACHAHADA” logo.