Halal - What is Halal Food


In Arabic, the word halal means permitted or lawful. Halal foods are foods that are allowed under Islamic dietary guidelines. According to these guidelines gathered from the Qu'ran, Muslim followers cannot consume the following:

  • pork or pork by products
  • animals that were dead prior to slaughtering
  • animals not slaughtered properly or not slaughtered in the name of Allah
  • blood and blood by products
  • alcohol
  • carnivorous animals
  • birds of prey
  • land animals without external ears
These prohibited foods and ingredients are called haram, meaning forbidden in Arabic.

Halal is One of the Most Humane Methods of Animal Slaughter

Muslims are taught through the Qu'ran that all animals should be treated with respect and well cared for. The goal is to slaughter the animal, limiting the amount of pain the animal will endure.

When an animal is slaughtered, the jugular vein is cut and the blood is allowed to drain from the animal. Remember, Muslims are prohibited from consuming animal blood.

Where to Find Halal Foods

Halal foods can be found in many Middle Eastern grocers. In larger cities, you may be able to find halal butchers.

With the growing demand for Halal foods in some areas, some national supermarket chains are carrying halal meats even halal turkeys for Thanksgiving.

There are many online stores that now offer halal foods.