Halal Food for Non Muslim Too
Halal Food for Non Muslim too, as bottom line is that Halal food is not just about what the food is but how it is prepared. The Halal concept emphasises safety, hygiene and wholesomeness of food.
It also provides an excellent platform for healthy eating. Consideration of the place and process of the animals being slaughtered and most importantly, the condition of these animals would not endanger the health of diners, are a prime focus of what Halal is all about.
Today, Halal is no longer a mere religious obligation or observance, but is considered as the standard of choice for Muslims as well as non-Muslims worldwide. The Halal concept is not unfamiliar to non-Muslims, especially those in Muslim countries.
A good example of consumers’ awareness and understanding with regards to the Halal concept of food products is the rapid increase in annual sales in Halal stores throughout Moscow, Russia, to USD100 million in 2018.
According to Canadian Agri-Food Trade Service Report, there is a strong demand for Halal products in a number of non-Muslim countries for both groups of consumers. The Halal products are also growing in popularity among non-Muslim consumers due to humane animal treatment concerns and the perception that Halal products are healthier and safer. Canadaian Muslims spent an estimated US$2.6 billion on food and beverage in 2014, representing 3 percent of total F&B expenditure in the country.
Non-Muslim made purchases from Muslim stores because they believe the products are fresh, safe and infection-free, and had confidence that Muslims would adhere to their religious belief not to cheat.
In the Philippines, non-Muslims also tend to prefer foodstuffs stamped with the Halal logo for health reasons.
The public relations office of Victoria Foods Corporation – one of the many firms with Halal certification –claimed that an increasing number of Filipinos are becoming health-conscious. Filipinos are now looking for Halal products, which they believe to be safe, healthy and good to be consumed.
However a lot of non-Muslim consumers still view Halal labelled food products from a religious perspective. They have yet to appreciate the underlying advantages that come with Halal products which include a hygienic process Halal products have to undergo before reaching the market.
In addition to this, Halal products have to undergo a thorough inspection to ensure a clean and hygienic manufacturing process.
Halal values can be popularised among non-Muslim consumers if the society at large is made to be more aware of issues concerning health, animal rights and safety, the environment, social justice and welfare.
Most, but not all, religious diets prescribe a variety of foods on a temporal or permanent basis, and thus these diets become restrictive in nature. A survey shows that the Halal meat products are chosen by French Muslims not because of religious obligation, but consumers also believe that Halal products were tastier, healthier and the Islamic slaughter method is less painful for the animal.
Fundamental problems that arise are the different definitions of Halal food and the different perceptions among non-Muslim consumers. The Halal food chain is therefore adapting to newly emerging consumer interests like food safety, animal welfare and convenience in cooking and.
Most consumers believe that Halal and Kosher food products follow stricter safety and quality standards than non-Halal and non-Kosher products in the same category. Given the extra food safety and rigour in standards in the production of Halal and Kosher foods and with consumers responding to such food production practices, food manufacturers are considering the efficacy of expanding their marketing reach far beyond the religious rationale as profitability rests in foods designated as Halal and Kosher.
Malaysian Standard on Halal Food (MS 1500:2009) incorporates compliance with international standards of Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Hygiene Practices and prescribes practical guidelines for the food industry on the preparation and handling of Halal food (including nutrient supplements) based on quality, sanitary and safety considerations and serves as a basic requirement for food products and food trade or business in Malaysia.
Halal has now become a universal concept. Halal stands not only for just and fair business but also for animal welfare, social justice and sustainable environment. It is no longer a concept confined or restricted to the slaughtering of animals for the consumption of Muslims but encompasses products and services of the highest quality that meet the ever increasing awareness and needs of non-Muslim consumers in a demanding market. Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multilingual society.
The awareness of Halal principles and Halal food products is determined by a positive attitude, the pressure of others and the perceived control. Meanwhile some perceived control factors like animal welfare do influence Halal food principles negatively.
Possibly, the importance or personal relevance attached to Halal food (especially meat products) is that the non- Muslim consumers might find the idea of Halal to be more on how the animals are slaughtered. Non-Muslims would more likely think of it as cruelty to animals, believing the animals suffer disproportionately for approximately two minutes prior to death, having allowed the slaughtered animals to bleed to death.
However, the Islamic principles of slaughtering clearly state that the knife used for slaughter must be very sharp, to ensure a quick, deep and clean cut through the vital anatomy of the neck of an animal – mainly the trachea, esophagus and major blood vessels. Meanwhile some recent studies indicate that the “Direct Method” of slaughtering an animal, which is the Islamic method of Dhabh, is more merciful compared to the conventional method in the West, whereby the animal is stunned with a “captive bolt pistol” before being slaughtered.
Efforts by the scientific community support that the Halal slaughtering method initiates massive hemorrhaging, which induces anoxia – lack of oxygen – in the brain cells, acting as a powerful painkiller.
The religious and safety concepts associated with the Halal food probably make this decision more important for consumers, which could lead to a different decision-making process, including a specific set of predictors. While the main determinants that might have positive impact or associated with
Halal principles of food products among non-Muslim is their lifestyle. We can conclude that in general, a positive personal attitude towards the consumption of Halal food, the influence of the perceived control (food safety and environmentally friendly) over consuming Halal food contribute to predicting the intended consumption of Halal food among non-Muslims.
Despite an increasing trend in attitude and intention to purchase Halal food products, there is no evidence that non- Muslim consumers are absolutely aware of underlying advantages that come with Halal food process.