Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development and Minister-in-charge for Muslim Affairs how often does Muis conduct random sampling or unannounced periodic inspections after the award of Muis' halal certificate, in particular for businesses under the Product / Whole Plant Scheme.
Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development and Minister-in-charge for Muslim Affairs whether Muis will consider other methods or technology like DNA testing for processed food as part of its monitoring of compliance with Muis’ halal certification.
Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs & Minister for Social and Family Development:
- Muis takes a holistic and proactive approach to monitoring compliance with the requirements under Muis’ halal certification framework.
- Muis audits all halal-certified businesses at least once during their halal certificate validity period to ensure they comply to the standards. In addition to the audits, Muis conducts unannounced inspections on halal-certified businesses that process meats and meat-related products, to ensure that there are no intentional or accidental breaches of the halal certification terms and conditions. Businesses with poor compliance records are inspected more frequently.
- As part of Muis’ routine checks, businesses producing meat and meat-related products are subject to random sampling once a year to ensure that there are no non-halal substances in halal-certified products and on equipment. Muis may request that businesses provide an accredited laboratory analysis of the raw materials and processing aids used to confirm that the products do not contain non-halal ingredients, or Muis may send samples for laboratory testing directly, themselves. Muis will also scrutinise the relevant documentation such as halal certificates of products, any supporting documents and invoices, as well as confirm that there is no change to facilities layout and business operations. Moreover, Muis will check for any misuse of the Muis Halal Certification Mark.
- Muis also requires businesses applying for halal certification to send their staff for training by Muis and accredited halal certification trainers, so that they understand what it means for food to be halal, and how to implement the halal certification conditions properly.
- As part of the practicality of Muslim law especially in helping Muslims navigate the complexities of daily life, there are established principles that allow for the unavoidable presence of very small amounts of non-halal ingredients. Muis will continue to be guided by these principles. In the event of an investigation, such as the mislabelling of meat products, Muis will work with the Singapore Food Agency (SFA)’s National Centre for Food Science (NCFS) which has lab testing capabilities, including DNA testing.