When we think of the word Halal, most of us think of meat. Are there Halal cheeses? You may not know it but yes!
Halal food is any food authorized by Islamic law, which meets the following criteria:
1. It must neither constitute nor contain anything deemed illegal according to Islamic law;
2. It must not have been prepared, processed, transported or stored using instruments or facilities that do not conform to Islamic law.
We may ask “Are there Halal cheeses? Yes and the Swiss Cheese Company meticulously respects the specifications for staff hygiene and clothing. Indeed, the staff is dressed according to the health rules in force (hairstyles, shoes clean and easy to clean, light-colored work clothes).
Furthermore, no staff member handling pork and its derivatives has access to ” Halal ” products, as well as sick staff (any infested wounds on the hands or suffering nasal or eye discharge) is not allowed to handle ” Halal ” products only with disposable gloves and a mask, to avoid contaminating cheeses. Finally, smoking is prohibited in work and storage rooms and in other areas and corridors through which cheeses pass.
How to make cheese?
Hygiene of equipment and premises is also a strict standard. These are constantly in perfect state of cleanliness. Before production, all the equipment used is cleaned and kept clean. The cleaning, the sanitization of premises and the destruction of any potential animal (rodents, insects and other vermin…) even if no such incidents have ever been registered. Premises, tools and work equipment are not used for any purpose other than the production of cheese. Packaging materials are stored hygienically. Liquid and solid waste is removed using a device that meets hygiene requirements. Finally, cheese not intended for human consumption for reasons of hygiene or quality is placed in containers and in special premises and isolated and treated at the end of each day.
In addition to hygiene measures, a “Halal” authentication and traceability methodology is operative. During the preparation, processing, transportation or storage phases the cheese does not have direct contact with food that does not comply with the above restrictions. A Halal food may be prepared, processed or stored in a different section or chain in the same premises used for the preparation of a non-Halal food, provided that appropriate steps are taken to avoid contact between both products. Halal food may be prepared, processed, transported or stored using facilities that have previously been used for the preparation, processing, transportation or storage of a non-Halal food provided that proper cleaning techniques in accordance with Islamic law have been undertaken.