Criteria for Halal Certification of Freezer/Cooler/Storage Facilities
1. The freezer or storage facility is preferred to be located on the same premise of the meat/ poultry packing/ food processing plant, or in a nearby commercial storage facility.
2. The establishment must be USDA inspected and approved for storing and handling of food products.
3. The facility should have a reliable source of power and gasoline-powered generators to use in case of emergency.
4. The facility should have adequate security and biosecurity systems, fire alarms and sprinkler system.
5. The storage area must be weather proof; maintained clean and neat; painted; well illuminated; properly aerated and smoke free.
6. The facility should have an adequate pest control program operated by a third party.
7. The facility should have a regular freezer and cooler compartments. In addition, a blast freezer is recommended.
8. The temperature should be monitored and recorded continuously throughout the facility and maintained at acceptable temperatures in the various compartments. The temperature should be printed clearly on the bill of lading of both the incoming and outgoing loads of products.
9. There should be no stalking or piling of any thawed products on top of each other in any part of the facility and no piling of boxes on the bare floors in the storage areas.
10. The floors should have proper drainage system and be cleaned periodically.
11. All received and shipped out products must be clearly labeled with the product labels including: product name; packing plant name and number, lot number, weights/case count and production/expiration dates. Unlabeled or undocumented products or products that are not properly packaged should not be permitted in the facility.
12. The employees at the facility should be able to track and trace any product to the source plant or owner of the product.
13. Halal food should not be mixed with any other types of meat and should not come in contact with pork or stored within its vicinity.
14. It is preferred that the facility should be able to store Halal labeled products in specially designated areas that are well marked to keep the Halal product’s identity.
15. The management must not permit any party to label or alter the labeling of products inside the facility, such as placing Halal stickers on cases of food products. Labeling, if needed should be performed only by the Halal certifier or their authorized representative.
16. The facility should have an adequate number of loading and unloading docks for receiving and shipping. 17. The facility must be able to issue the necessary documents for domestic and export shipping when needed, including the USDA export certificates.
18. The Halal products must be shipped out on clean refrigerated vehicles, unless the product is shelf stable, and accompanied with the proper documents.