Invitation to NHCC

Monday 9th March, 2020

Ghanaian Muslims have been glowingly expressing concerns over the food, beverages, drugs that they consume and the cosmetics that they use regardless of the origin; Ghana or abroad.

This therefore calls the attention of the Office of the National Chief Imam of Ghana (ONCI) to devote a special unit for inspection and issuance of Halal certificates and monitoring and to set standards for Halal products.

The National Halal Certification Committee (NHCC) was thus made and set up by His Eminence the National Chief Imam of Ghana, Sheikh Professor Osman Nuhu Sharubutu in September 2019 and placed under the supervision of the Office of the National Chief Imam of Ghana (ONCI).

The works and mandates of the NHCC involves 

1. Inspection of company’s guidelines and procedures 

2. Issuance of Halal certificates

3. Following up and Monitoring to ensure that food, beverages, cosmetic and drugs manufacturers and producers adhere strictly to Halal guidelines

4. Providing and updating public with regular information on companies, hotels and restaurants that are compliance to Halal 

In that regard, the NHCC seeks the supports of all and sundry to, as a matter of collective responsibility, help enforce the production of Halal products in Ghana.

This can only be achieved through collaboration and partnership with all and sundry.

It is worth noting that the responsibility of ensuring that Ghanaian Muslims consume foods, beverages, drugs and use cosmetics that are Halal are collective and incumbent on all Muslims. 

The ONCI takes it up to update Ghanaians on companies, hotels, restaurants, cosmetics and drugs producers that are certified under the National Halal Certification Committee (NHCC).

WHAT IS HALAL 

Halal Food Standards refers to food products that are prepared following Islamic dietary laws and regulations that determine what is permissible, lawful and clean.

The foods labeled as Halal are permissible, lawful and clean for Muslims and non-Muslims to consume and handle.

According to Islamic guidelines, Halal food is safe and not harmfully prepared; it does not contain non-halal and najs (unclean) ingredients; and it is processed and manufactured using equipment that is not contaminated with things that have any of the following;

ALCOHOLIC PRODUCTS OR BY-MATERIALS

PORK OR BY-MATERIALS

CROSS-CONTAMINATION WITH ANY OF THE ABOVE

Halal food items includes

Zabiha meat (beef and lamb) and poultry. Zabiha means prescribed animal slaughtered by a Muslim in accordance with Islamic guidelines

Fish with scales

Animal-derived products extracted from Zabiha animals

Milk and eggs of all permissible animal species

Vegetables, fruit, and grains except those that cause intoxication

all vegetable ingredients except those that cause intoxication

No alcohol in any form

The NHCC ensures that all aspects of preparation, processing, packaging, and distribution of halal foods are free from any unclean (pork, alcohol or unhygienic) materials.

Halal food preparation utilizes safety controls including the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) food safety system as implemented by the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

WHAT DOES HALAL COMPLIANCE MEANS TO A BUSINESS

It means the company;

Prepares and accommodates Muslims meals

Separates Halal Raw materials and ingredients (meat, poultry and milk and etc) from non Halal products such as pork and alcoholic products during and after processing.

Does not entertain cross contamination of Halal food and ingredients with non Halal during and after processing.

Thoroughly cleans and washes, in-between the processing of two different type of foods, utensils and productions equipment to avoid contamination in the processing and production.

An equipment could be used, for instance, in the processing of pork related food but it must be washed thoroughly before processing Halal food. Same applies to items being used in the kitchen and restaurant.

In that same manner a serving glass of wine could be used to serve non-alcoholic soft drinks after thorough washing and cleaning if alcohol was served earlier.

BEVERAGES 

Halal beverages means the drinks have not been contaminated with alcohol or mixed, prepared with or anything related to pork, during and after processing or production.

This information is coming from the National Halal Certification Committee (NHCC) under the Office of the National Chief Imam of Ghana (ONCI).

**Sources:

Most of the materials quoted here were derived from the University of Toronto’s Halal Food Standards Guide.