Quality assurance and halal control points for the food industry

Lau, An Nee, Jamaludin, Mohd Hafiz and Soon, Jan Mei orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0488-1434 (2016) Quality assurance and halal control points for the food industry. Nutrition and Food Science, 46 (4). pp. 557-570. ISSN 0034-6659

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/NFS-03-2016-0026


To determine the understanding of halal concept among food production workers and to develop a generic Halal Control Point (HCP) Plan for the manufacturing of processed foods.

A mixed method (interviews, surveys and microbiological analyses) approach was used to analyze the hygiene and halal practices of four food processing plants in Penang, Malaysia. Two hundred food production workers were surveyed (and quality assurance staff were interviewed) to determine their understanding of halal concepts and attitude towards halal food products. Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) swabbing tests were conducted to determine the hygiene of workers and food contact surfaces. End products were sampled and enumerated for total bacterial count.

The swabbing tests of food contact surfaces (i.e tabletops) showed that only Company C (oat) and Company D (coffee powder) passed the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hygiene test (≤ 10 Reflective Light Unit [RLU]). The results obtained from all workers’ hands and aprons indicated a 100% failure rate (> 30 RLU). No ATP was detected on the packaging materials from all companies. The microbiological findings indicated that the end products are satisfactory and were below detection limits as verified by the enumeration done on the food samples. Besides, from the interview sessions conducted with the Quality Assurance (QA) staff, one generic Halal Control Points (HCPs) plan and four specific HCP plan tables were developed for the manufacturing process of halal food products for each company.

The HCP plans will be of value for food industry seeking to identify potential point sources of haram contamination and halal control points for their food production processes.

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