Take a Look at the Halalness of Tacos, Street Food from Mexico

Tacos, a traditional Mexican food, are now favored by Indonesian consumers. Let’s identify the critical point of its.

Tacos are now much favored by the people of Indonesia. The Mexican street snack is indeed trendy in several countries, including the United States. Tacos are snacks that all people love. 

The popularity of street food from the United States continues to spread throughout the world, including Indonesia. Tacos are traditional Mexican food in the form of a tortilla shell filled with vegetables, meat, and sauce. People can find tacos in big cities in Indonesia, such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Makassar, and other cities. In fact, with a bit of modification taste, many people also make their tacos in their home kitchens. 

Classic Mexican tacos have from corn or flour tortillas, topped with chopped onions and cilantro. Taco toppings and fillings vary, such as beef or beef tongue, spicy salsa sauce, horseradish, and lime juice. 

Then how is it lawful or halal? If we buy tacos at a restaurant that is halal certified, there is don’t need to doubt the halalness of the food. However, suppose the tacos we consume come from restaurants or manufacturers that do not yet have an MUI halal certificate, of course. In that case, we have to watch out for halal because tacos are snacks that have a relatively high critical point.

Prudence in choosing food, by paying attention to halal, food safety, and health, according to the Communication Director of LPPOM MUI, Ir. Osmena Gunawan, is very much needed. Because, along with the development of processing technology, food is no longer just boiled, steamed, and fried. 

Food processing, Osmena said, involved a variety of raw materials(ingredients)that were diverse. To improve the quality, appearance, shelf life, taste, and aroma, practitioners of food product processing use raw materials (primary) and food additives (BTP), such as flavoring, sweetener, emulsifier, developer, colorant, coating, softener, preventing clumping (anti-caking agent), etc. 

“Ingredients are not just one kind, but a combination of various ingredients. As Muslim consumers, we should understand the halal status of the ingredients used in making various food products,” said Osmena. 

To find out the critical point of tacos, we also have to look at the ingredients used to make tacos. As we know, the ingredients for making tacos consist of flour, meat, and various spices. Also, a sauce is often used as an additional ingredient to eat tacos.

As the main ingredient for making taco layers, Wheat flour is an ingredient that is rich in carbohydrates. However, wheat flour contains very few vitamins and minerals. Several food additives are often added as a fortification of wheat flour to enrich its nutrient content. 

In terms of halal, wheat flour is relatively no problem. However, various materials and improving agents added in fortification are susceptible to multiple contaminations of unclean materials, for example, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and folic acid. If these ingredients come from plants, then they are halal to consume. However, these vitamins can change their status to non-halal if it produced microbiologically using non-halal media. 

Another ingredient to watch out for is the use of meat should be ensured that the beef used in the tacos is pure. This ingredient needs special attention because to this day, and there are still many cases of halal beef mixed with meat from unclean animals, such as pork. 

All meat distributed in Indonesia, both imported and local, must be declared halal. If the main ingredients are doubtful, the halalness is also in doubt. Purity and halal meat are also determined in the slaughtering animal’s process, ensuring following Islamic law. In addition, the meet handling post-slaughter must make sure that it is not mixed or contaminated with forbidden things. (SSA) 

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