Essays by the halaal foundation pakistan

General Halaal Audit: Introduction and Procedure

Halaal audit plays a key role in the process of Halaal certification. What is Halaal Audit? What is its procedure? What are the things to be observed therein? Issues like these are being discussed in this article.

Definition of Halaal Audit

Halaal audit is a systematic investigation of the implementation and the effectiveness of Halaal system throughout the supply chain in compliance with Shariah.

Internal and External Audit

Halaal Audit is performed at two stages. When any manufacturer wants to get his products certified, he, firstly, appoints an internal auditor to check the whole process of his production plant in compliance with Halaal Standards.

The internal audit rectifies whatever is found against the requirements of Halaal standards. After the internal audit, the manufacturer contacts a Halaal Certification body, informing that he has fulfilled the requirements of the Halaal standards.
Therefore, his products should be certified.
The Halaal certification body appoints an auditor to audit the plant. In this audit, everything is judged and analyzed. If anywhere there is a danger of mixing Haraam stuff with Halaal, it is pointed out.

Two kinds of Halaal Audit

We can divide Halaal audit into two kinds according to the nature of the plant:

  1. General Halaal Audit
  2. Audit of Slaughterhouses

General Halaal Audit remains the same for all the manufacturing plants except slaughter houses, where some extra issues are considered. In this article, the procedure of “General Halaal Audit” is being described while the audit of slaughterhouses will be discussed later in another article, Insha’Allah.
Before describing the procedure of the audit, it sounds good to mention the difference between an audit and inspection.

Difference between Audit and Inspection

The terms “audit” and “inspection” are usually used interchangeably, but there are some differences between them which can be summarized in the following six points:

  1. Audit looks at the past through records while inspection looks at the present by physical state.
  2. Audit is generally announced while inspection is generally unannounced; you do not need to warn that the inspection is about to take place until it is actually happening.
  3. In an audit, more formal planning is involved, including audit plans, while inspection is a less formal activity.
  4. An audit has to include an inspection component while inspection is a stand-alone activity; you can perform an inspection without having to do an audit.
  5. In audit, there is a formal report-writing with documented outcomes while in inspection, less formal report is provided; May be just the copy of the audit checklist.
  6. The time allocated is more extensive in an audit while in the inspection, limited time is allocated.

(Note: Regardless of the differences, both are an assessment of the level of conformance or compliance against a set of rules, laws or criteria)
The following areas are covered in a general Halaal audit.

Assessment of HAS (Halaal Assurance System) Implementation

First of all, the auditor checks if the Halaal policy, guidelines and requirements for the manufacturing plant with respect to Halaal production exist in the written form.
Secondly, he audits if these Halaal requirements are fulfilled or not. The staff is judged if they know about the Halaal guidelines and policy, or it is just the paper work without implementation. How much the staff is trained regarding Halaal is also audited. Internal audit system is checked to see how strong it is and if it is fulfilling its responsibilities or not.

Raw Materials and Ingredients Checking

Raw materials are checked if they are contaminated with Haraam stuff. If the ingredients have been coded for administrative purpose, these codes have to be matched with physical ingredients they stand for. List of all raw materials, their suppliers, sources of origin, Halaal certificate (if any), spread sheet of matrix of materials, suppliers’ invoices are checked and photocopies of the necessary documents are collected for verification.
It is also to be audited how much raw materials have been gained for Halaal products. If the Halaal products are more in quantity than the raw materials, it should be audited if the remaining raw materials are from Haraam sources or Halaal sources.

Assessment of Product Formulae

It can be judged by the product formula if the ingredients seen at the plant are the same as the formula describes, or any Haraam ingredient is also added according to the formula. Shariah related things are audited by a Shariah expert while scientific matters are checked by food technologist, chemist or any other expert in the related sciences.

Audit of the Warehouse

The warehouse is also audited to see if there is any chance of mixing Haraam things with Halaal raw materials. Raw materials mentioned in documents are compared with the raw materials present in the warehouse to see if there is any unknown material of which the Halaal certification body has been kept unaware. Cartons are checked for Haraam products. Pest control measures are also audited in the warehouse.

Audit of the Production Process

Production process is checked for any hazard in the products, whether the hazard be physical or chemical, biochemical or microbiological. Cleanliness of the work area is audited in the plant. It is also to be audited whether the personnel wash their hands and tools periodically or not.
The cleanliness of the personnel’s uniform is checked. Do they use gloves and hair resistant? Is there any person suffering from an illness which can affect the food? Smoking is to be noted if found. Perfume, nail polish and jewelries should not be in such a condition that they enter the product. The places where Halaal and Haraam or edible and non-edible stuff mix are pointed out. Any place where contamination of Haraam thing is possible is noted.
All the products produced by Halaal line are noted and compared with the Halaal products stored in the storage area; if there are more Halaal products in this area than those produced on Halaal line, it should be checked whether the additional quantity found there is not from the Haraam source of Haraam lines.

Cleansing/ Sanitation Procedure

The sanitizing agents, the cleaning procedure and disposal of waste materials system are checked

Laboratory Analysis ( if any for the Halaal Status)

If any ingredient is doubtful, it can be sent to a laboratory for test.

Packaging /Laboratory/Storage/ Transportation

All the stock in the store is audited if the Haraam products are kept with Halaal products. The packaging materials are checked to confirm that they are not from a Haraam source. Halaal logo is audited. The temperature of the store is checked if it is not TDZ (The temperature Danger Zone). At the end, it is to be checked whether the logistic system for transportation is confined to only Halaal products or Haraam products are also supplied by the same.