If you’ve spent a little time browsing the Najma Foods website, you may have noticed that our chilled meats have several halal certifications from organisations throughout Europe.
One of those is the Halal Food and Quality certification. Based in Spain, the group applies rigorous standards to any meats that it examines to ensure that they meet the strict guidelines of halal. Here, we’re going to take a deeper look at who they are and what they do.
Created in 2012, the Halal Food and Quality (HFQ) mark was created to provide guidance to Spanish farmers and meat producers on the tenets of halal. In essence, the organisation ensures that any meat that is marked as halal actually meets the correct requirements.
Beyond that, the organisation also examines food safety and ensures that any products carrying its label meet current EU regulations in that regard.
The organisation came about because they recognised that there was a distinct lack of standards in place that combined halal with safety requirements. In collaboration with the Halal Food & Quality Federation of the Islamic Centre of La Vall, the organisation created a set of standards that ensure any food carrying its mark is both halal and produced to the highest possible standards.
The Certification Process
To ensure any producers who carry their mark meet these strict requirements, the HFQ undergoes a three-year auditing and certification process with anybody who applies to carry the mark.
This process includes auditing of the registrant’s processes and management system, with the aim of ensuring the registrant meets the standards set via the following regulations:
- ISO 17065
- ISO 17021
- .S 2055-2
The first audit is a two-step process that takes place during the first year. HFQ examines the producer in detail before deciding whether or not to award it with certification. In the second year, HFQ carries out another audit to ensure the producer has maintained the standards that the certification requires.
A similar audit takes place during the third year. However, this also includes renewal of the certification, assuming the producer continues meeting the standards set by the certifying body.
HFQ endeavours to complete its follow-up audits within 12 months of the previous audit, and may sometimes carry out several audits in the space of that 12 months.
What Does This Mean For You?
As a consumer of halal foods, you want to know that your products have been produced in a safe and clean environment.
Halal sets out several rules for the conditions of the slaughtering environment. The HFQ melds those existing rules with modern European safety standards.
This means that any food that carries the HFQ mark has undergone a rigorous audit that shows it’s safe for consumption and that the production methods meet the highest possible standards.
It’s all about confidence in the product. Najma Foods underwent this auditing process to show you that you can trust us to supply high-quality chilled meats.