5th International Halal Food Conference Proceedings 10: The Making of Halal French Fries
A Summary of Presentation by Steve Michelson, McCain Foods, Inc.
The McCain philosophy is to produce high quality products, meet the needs and tastes of the local market and employ people who understand the local culture and can represent McCain in the marketplace.
McCain is the largest French fry and frozen snack food company in the world with over 55 production facilities on 5 continents. McCain’s fries are sold in over 100 countries and many of these countries require Halal certified products. One of the major Halal markets for us is Asia. McCain supplies Halal products out of plants in the United States, Canada and New Zealand to markets in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. The products include French fries, hash browns, onion rings, and vegetable appetizers.
The process of making Halal French fries starts at the truck delivery point. Potatoes are received by truck and passed through a rock removal apparatus. The potatoes are then sorted by size to be used in the most effective way. A steamer then peels the potatoes and they are washed and inspected. Defective potatoes are removed and the acceptable potatoes are heated in water before they are cut. They are then sorted again and sent to a cutting line where they are cut into fries. Slivers defective fries are removed. Automatic equipment removes the defects and the fries are graded. The cooking process starts with a blanching step; ingredients are added; the fries are dried and then fried. If the product is to contain batter it is added before frying. The product is almost ready. All that remains is to cool and freeze it. After one last inspection and grading the product is packaged. The product is stored at 0°F and shipped to fill customer orders. IFANCA Halal certification means inspection and cleansing of the production line prior to Halal production, approval of ingredients and proper segregation, approval of the batter, approval of the Halal cooking oil, sanitization of the fryer and proper packaging. IFANCA certifies the production facilities develops, the production procedures reviews, all components and ingredients, and checks inventory and production records. IFANCA also provides education to our employees on Halal requirements.
Our relationship with IFANCA has allowed us to produce Halal certified products to satisfy customer demand.