December 15, 2015

Testimonial: The Importance of in-house, on-site Halal testing

  • Food Fraud

By InstantLabs

About Habib Ghanim: Habib is a trusted international Halal certifier with a long, successful tenure with the Islamic Society of the Washington Area (ISWA), the organization that oversees the Halal certification in conjunction with the United States Halal Chamber of Commerce. He is also an executive committee member of the world Halal Council.

As a long-time certifier for Halal foods in many international settings, I’ve learned that the most critical first step to prevent the use of porcine-contaminated products is the use of a reliable onsite testing process.

Certifying products as Halal according to the various requirements of the importing countries requires great attention to every stage of production: Handling, preparation and distribution must be declared free of porcine or other Haram products. This includes kitchen and storage areas especially for finished and processed foods.

Many producers who claim they distribute porcine-free products rely only on outside laboratories. Unfortunately, the delays of sending samples and waiting for results can stretch to three or four days or more in many cases. These delays increase costs.

Because of the amount of time required to get results, contamination may already have taken place while the business or institution’s processes have been moving forward. Product recalls are a potential result. The providers’ brand and reputation may be damaged by porcine results revealed at the broadest and most risky point – the end-user stage.

A Better Way to Test
Because truly porcine-free products requires 100 percent in-house management of the complete kitchen environment — utensils, plastic storage and preparation surfaces — it is critical that providers identify risk factors so safety and credibility can be ensured at every stage of production especially for further processed items.

Onsite testing during these steps is the most effective way to prevent the introduction of porcine. And the best testing system I have seen for this application is the Hunter® instrument and test kits produced by InstantLabs. Tests using the Hunter® system help verify the absence of porcine products and ensure that the meat has been handled and treated correctly to ensure the final products meet your standards. The porcine testing technology from InstantLabs meets the standards of the USA Halal Chamber of Commerce, Inc. in Washington, DC.

Developed using DNA-based technology, the Hunter® is not only accurate, it provides test results under two hours for most tests. The testing process itself is simple and the results are easy to read on a real time basis.

By creating simple steps to conduct the testing, this device offers a virtually error-proof system that is easy to follow. Compact, lightweight and portable, the device is about the size of a fax machine and can be easily moved. The Hunter® works with test cartridges that use intuitive touch-screen and bar-coded operations. The device features an integrated reader, disposable assay cartridges, a thermocycler and complete software.

The bottom-line: You are assured of quick, accurate results at your own facility at a price that you can afford, making sure that you have proof on hand if pork contamination issues come up. Based on my experience working with many producers in varied settings, I recognize the Hunter® as a useful, simple test system that will help you meet Halal certification standards.

Because this machine is portable and easy to carry around, you can generate more Halal-certified products as demand grows.

Of course, there are many similar equipment for food testing. My endorsement of the Hunter® is based on its simplicity, accuracy and portability. When you need fast, accurate results to increase your production and comply with the Halal certification standards for the presence of porcine, the InstantLabs system is an excellent solution.

For further information, contact Habib at the Halal Certification Department, 1712 Eye Street, NW Suite 602, Washington, DC 20006, USA. Tel: +13013843608, Fax: +13013842975, Website: