The Halal Diet: What You Need to Know

“Halal” is an Arabic word meaning “lawful” or “permitted.” The opposite of “halal” is “haram,” which means “unlawful.” Similar to how members of the Jewish faith must maintain a Kosher diet, many members of the Islamic faith follow a special halal diet that only includes foods specified as permitted in the Qur’an (the Muslim scripture). Before you order your corporate catering in Philadelphia, be sure to ask about dietary restrictions like the halal diet to ensure that you have something available for everyone in your party.

In accordance to specifications in the Qur’an, meat must be prepared by a butcher of the Islamic faith. If such a butcher is unavailable for your meeting, the best second choice is to include a vegetarian option on your menu for Muslim guests. Animals such as chicken, cows, veal, and lamb are all considered halal as long as they are prepared in accordance with the scripture. Most types of fish and shellfish are considered halal with the exceptions of frogs, alligator, and crocodile. Pork, any type of product derived from pigs, birds of prey, and carnivorous animals are never considered halal and are strictly forbidden.

The halal diet also includes restrictions on ingredients used for storage and cooking. Foods containing gelatin, enzymes, emulsifiers, and synthetic flavors are usually forbidden because the origin of these foods is often unknown. Stocks and broths are allowed to be consumed only if they are derived from halal animals.

The halal diet excludes all kinds of alcohol, as well as food that has been cooked in alcohol or that has come into contact with alcohol during preparation. This includes fish batter and sauces because trace amounts of alcohol are not burned off during the cooking process.  

At Village Catering, we do everything possible to help accommodate your party’s dietary restrictions. If you are interested in learning more about our wedding and corporate catering or our banquet halls in Philadelphia, PA, please give our team a call at 215-437-3337.