Who can miss the deliciousness and savory aroma of meatballs? This snack is one of the favorites of the Indonesian people, even for all ages and ages. The high public interest in meatballs is proven by the number of meatball outlets spread in various places, ranging from sidewalk carts, stall, to famous restaurants. But be careful, some meatballs are not halal.

It is not surprising when all levels of industry, from households to large companies, are tempted and compete to produce various types of meatballs. If the limited meatball variant used to be plain meatballs and minced meatballs, the meatballs are now varied with various contents, such as chili slices, cheese, ribs, dates, chocolate, mushrooms, and meatball filled with eggs.

Not only that, the naming of meatballs is also increasingly varied following the variants of the contents. Some of the names of meatballs that are currently available, including tennis ball meatballs, firecrackers meatballs, lamb meatballs, and demon meatballs.

Although the consumption of meatballs has become a common thing, people still need to be aware of the ingredients of meatball makers. In this edition of the Halal Journal, the editorial team will examine the critical point of the meatball illegality from the raw material to its name. Let’s look at the following reviews:

Meatballs consist of two main ingredients, namely tapioca flour and meat. Based on the LPPOM MUI Decree, tapioca flour belongs to the “Non-Critical Material” group. This means that products derived from vegetable products are processed through physical processes without or with the addition of additives which are generally chemicals. Even so, the chemicals used tend to be harmless and do not doubt their legal status, so they are safe to use even without going through halal inspection first.

As for what is often the main issue in meatballs is processed meat used. In general, meatballs are made by mixing beef, chicken, fish, shrimp, or a mixture of several types of meat. Not infrequently found rogue traders who mix dough meatballs with haram meat.

The notion of haram meat is explained clearly in the letter Al-Baqarah verse 173, which states, “Indeed He forbids you carcasses, blood, pork, and animals slaughtered by mentioning names other than Allah. But whoever is forced to do so, not because he wants it, and does not exceed the limit, there is no sin for him Allah is Forgiving Most Merciful.”

According to Prof. Ir. Khaswar Syamsu, MSc. Ph.D., Head of the Center for Halal Science Studies at IPB, LPPOM MUI makes this verse a reference for determining the critical point of the prohibition of meat products. Of the four criteria for haram meat, carcasses and pork or haram animals (mice for example) are still a scourge of selling meatballs in Indonesia. This is because both are able to reduce production costs and provide multiple profits.

Furthermore, the point that is often overlooked by traders is to mention the name of Allah during the slaughter process. Khaswar Syamsu explained that until now there has not been found a laboratory technique or method that can distinguish between syar’i slaughter and reading Basmalah or not. “Therefore, the Halal Management Team periodically evaluates the implementation of the Halal Guarantee System to ensure consistency and continuity of the implementation of the Syariah Standard Slaughterhouse at the Animal Slaughter House,” he explained.

In addition to the main ingredients, consumers also need to pay attention to additional ingredients in making meatballs, such as flavoring containing monosodium glutamate (MSG). “This flavoring comes from glutamic acid which is a microbial product so that the critical point of haram in the biosynthetic process needs to be considered,” explained Dr. Budiatman Satiawihardja, LPPOM MUI Expert Team. In addition, not a few also rogue traders who preserve their meatballs with prohibited substances, such as borax or formalin.

No less important to note is the stuffing of meatballs. Some of them such as cheese, chocolate, or minced meat certainly have their haram critical points. Cheese, for example, comes from the milk of cows, sheep, goats, or camels. Then microorganisms (generally lactic acid bacteria) are needed for the milk clotting process. These microorganisms need to be watched out for, whether they come from halal or haram media.

The halal aspect also needs to be seen from giving the product name. Head of Auditing LPPOM MUI, Dr. Ir. Mulyorini R. Hilwan, M.Sc, explained, referring to the eleven criteria of the Halal Assurance System (HAS) written on the HAS23000 book, stated that the brand/product name may not use names that refer to something that is prohibited or worship that is not in accordance with sharia Islam, even though the food uses halal ingredients.

The things referred to in this case are containing the name of liquor, containing the names of pigs and dogs and their derivatives, containing the name Satan, which leads to things that cause kufr and falsehood, and contain words that are erotic, vulgar, and/or porn. Here are some examples: demon meatballs, pork meatballs, comberan meatballs, crocodile meatballs, ex-meatball meatballs, and so on.

The many halal aspects that need to be considered require consumers to continue to be selective and wise when deciding what products to consume, including snacks that are commonly traded in the general public. Choose products with MUI Halal labels or logos, so we don’t need to hesitate and worry when consuming them. (YN)

Source : Jurnal Halal No. 137

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