Do Halal Certification, and this is What Ghost Kitchen Needs to Do

By: Ir. Hendra Utama, MM

Communication Advisor of LPPOM MUI

Unlike traditional restaurants, ghost kitchen is not a restaurant brand but contains kitchen space and facilities for more than one restaurant brand. What needs to be done for ghost kitchen halal certification?

Ghost/cloud/dark/virtual kitchen is a professional food preparation and cooking facility set up to prepare special food delivery. Still, it does not include display cases or indoor seating for customers. Unlike a virtual restaurant, a ghost kitchen is not a restaurant brand itself but instead contains the kitchen space and facilities for more than one restaurant brand.

The critical role that ghost kitchens have and the number of business actors who choose to apply this method make ghost kitchens no longer to be underestimated. Its presence and existence need to be supported in the form of legality, one of which is halal certification. In addition, the obligation for halal certification is stated in Act Number 33 of 2014 concerning Halal Product Assurance (UU JPH).

Several things need to be done for businessman with a business model ghost kitchen. Let’s see the following review.

(Also read: Introducing The Ghost Kitchen, Must It Be Halal Certified?)

The Role of the Manager Ghost Kitchen and Product Owner (Brand Owner)

Based on how to manage the risk of non-halal during the validity of the halal certificate, the manager ghost kitchen can play a role in several activities. For example: in the procurement or purchase of materials, in logistics—storage and transportation, in the production process, managing production facilities (kitchens that can have more than one number and are located in separate locations) including warehouses and other facilities that are in direct contact with materials or menus/products.

Meanwhile, the critical activities that may be their responsibility for product owners are menu/product development activities, finding new ingredients, and ensuring that each new product undergoes a certification process.

As a manager ghost kitchen who also accepts offers of cooperation from other product owners, risk management for each critical activity that is carried out is also his responsibility.

To keep the Halal Assurance System (HAS) implemented in their service companies, the manager must start everything with a commitment that he will always maintain the halal status of the products or menus produced in his company. Starting with setting up criteria for each product owner who wants to work with, clearly must also include halal aspects as part of the clause in the cooperation proposal.

Thus, service managers in a ghost kitchen will find it easier to maintain all processes in their kitchen facilities so that they are protected from contamination with unclean and unclean materials. This means that with these criteria, whoever works with him already has a radar of awareness to implement HAS properly from the role he will play in supporting the implementation of the system that has been developed.

The Role of Ghost Kitchen Owners

Service kitchen started the implementation of HAS by implementing a halal policy, which is to commit to only using their kitchen facilities to produce halal products or menus. This Halal Policy must be determined by the top management of ghost kitchen’s and disseminated to all halal stakeholders, including all parties who will cooperate. 

To develop, implement, and evaluate the implementation of HAS, a team from all parts in charge of critical activities for the implementation of HAS is required that has sufficient competence, namely knowing the requirements for halal certification and applying all the criteria for HAS. 

To maintain their competence, all those involved in critical control must attend training internally and externally within a certain period to update knowledge related to the implementation of HAS.

Maintaining Halal Substance

In HAS, three factors become halal substances: ingredients, product/menu, and production facilities. All materials used in all kitchen facilities (number of kitchens which may be more than one in different/separate locations), including frozen warehouse, cold warehouse, and dry warehouse, must reach halal requirements. Likewise, all registered products must meet halal requirements. To support the existence of both, production facilities are needed that are always protected from haram and unclean materials.

Managing Risk

All critical activities responsible for service providers’ ghost kitchen must be controlled. There are several critical activities that are his responsibility, namely:

• Inspection of incoming materials. 

• Storage of materials. 

• Processing/production processes. 

• Handling of materials and products/menus. 

• Washing. 

• Transportation of products/menus.

Traceability System 

A traceability system must be built to ensure that all materials reach halal requirements and the production process is carried out in production facilities that meet halal criteria. 

Handling Products/Menu that Does not Meet Halal Criteria

The implementation of HAS aims to identify all non-halal risk factors and then control or mitigate all existing risk factors. However, when some products or menus do not meet the halal criteria due to prevent failures, there must be a mechanism to ensure that the products or menus are handled properly to contaminate other halal products or menus. 

Products or menus that do not meet the halal criteria must be separated and designated as non-halal products. The follow-up is that it can be destroyed or sold to consumers who do not need halal products.

Evaluation of HAS Implementation

To ensure that HAS Standard has been implemented effectively, an evaluation process must be carried out through internal audits and management reviews. A competent and independent auditor carries out the halal internal audit for the area being audited. Then, the internal audit results—and there may also be findings from the external audit—can be used as input for discussion in the management review forum. So that at the management review forum, halal issues whose solutions require top management decisions can be known and the decisions made. 

The Role of Product Owners

The role of product owners in implementing HAS must, of course, depart from the commitment that they will only produce halal products or menus. 

This role includes the idea of making new products rolled out and ensuring the selection of ingredients comes from producers that meet halal requirements. 

If the product owner carries out critical activities, the product owner controls all these activities. The critical activities that the product owner may carry out include:

• Selecting materials. 

• Purchasing materials. 

• Transporting materials/products/menus. 

• Storing products/menus (if the sales process is also the product owner’s responsibility).

That way, all details related to intangible kitchen owners and product owners in order to meet halal requirements must be explained in the HAS Manual and its derivative documents (procedures, work instructions, and checklists/fillings). 

The key is indeed an agreement between both parties to ensure that the roles they play are effective in meeting the HAS criteria. (*)

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