CHICAGO, Illinois (July 17, 2009) — In response to rumors circulating in USA and Canada, as well as on the internet, the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA) would like to reassure halal consumers and retailers that all its certified products meet the strictest of Halal criteria and can be consumed without any doubt.

IFANCA’s procedures have been approved by a team of Islamic scholars and scientists who have developed a very stringent & independently verifiable halal authentication system in all of its certified plants, including Cargill’s Better Beef Plant. IFANCA’s slaughter methods are as close as practically possible to the traditional Islamic method of slaughter, where at least three out of four vessels are precisely cut, while also meeting the Canadian food safety requirements. All cattle are slaughtered by specially trained Muslim slaughter men, who are supervised by IFANCA inspectors.

The rumors spread by the [self proclaimed] Halal Advocates claim: “As expert Halal slaughter research and practical observation has always confirmed, the ‘European or Vertical’ cut does not ensure the required Islamic slaughter has taken place in Islam. The animal must be slaughtered from the front of the neck and horizontally across as this is the only means of complete assuredness of the required jugular veins and passages being cut of such an animal. These include the throat, windpipe, and the two [thin] jugular veins in the neck. Without the horizontal method of cutting, there is no guarantee of the necessary passages and veins being cut, deeming the animal questionable or doubtful for consumption. Muslim jurists around the world are also unanimous on not using such a method of slaughter when killing an animal.”

Word of mouth rumors by the same group, as caught in Vancouver, BC, go even further by claiming that there are no Muslim slaughtermen at the Cargill/Better Beef plant. This is a sheer fabrication and an utter lie.

Let us look at the facts. The above assertion suggests that the vertical method of cut during the animal slaughter does not meet the Islamic criteria. First the cut at the Cargill/Better Beef plant is not vertical cut. It is modified horizontal cut. Secondly, The claim about the jurists being unanimous is baseless. There are several methods of slaughtering animals, generally practiced being cutting the throat to sever four (4) passages: trachea, esophagus, jugular veins, and carotid arteries. There is disagreement among the scholars even with the required number of openings to be cut. According to Imam Abu Hanifa, all four are required to be cut (Badai Al Sanaih, 6/41). According to his student Imam Abu Yusuf, only one of the two jugular veins are required to be cut besides that of throat and windpipe (ibid). According to other scholars, only cutting of the throat and windpipe is enough (Sharh Muhazzab, 9/84). According to Imam Malik, the windpipe and the two jugular veins are required to be cut in order for the animal to be halal (Sharh Al Sagheer, 2/154). According to another reference, the Hanafi School’s ruling is that at least three of the four openings should be cut (Nasab ul Raya, 4/185-86). [This requirement of cutting at least three passages as well as complete draining of blood are met at the Cargill/Better Beef plant]

There has never been unanimity in opinions, only different methods of slaughter under different situations. The slaughter men trained by IFANCA are especially instructed in cutting the required number of openings, leaving no doubt about this method of halal slaughter. Hence Cargill/Better Beef is halal and zabiha, as has been certified for over 10 years by the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America.

IFANCA urges the Muslim consumers and Halal meat retailers not to pay any heed to the rumors spread by groups and individuals with vested interests. Refer all inquiries to IFANCA.

IFANCA Canada: Haider Khattak +1 905 275 0477
IFANCA USA: S. Farhat Quadri +1 877 HALAL 23