Kosher and Halal Diets: What Are the Differences?

Freshly Prepared Kosher Meal

Kosher and Halal Diets: What Are the Differences?

Halal and Kosher diets are religious beliefs individuals abide by regarding nutrition. Although they are different religions, Islam and Judaism follow strict laws to ensure they consume the right foods in line with their beliefs. 

When providing healthy office catering for a large group of people, it’s essential to provide those with different dietary requirements with the correct nutrition and understand the differences between each diet.

The best way to ensure a varied selection that caters to people from different religious backgrounds is to speak to local catering businesses in your area, such as Green Bike Food Co., who will happily discuss additional requirements and tailor these to the event. 

Below is some information on how to understand Kosher and Halal diets better. 

What Does Kosher Mean?

Kosher is the way in which food is prepared, cooked, eaten or sold according to the needs of Jewish laws. 

A Kosher diet restricts the intake of certain foods, for example, meat from pigs, horses, rabbits, kangaroos, camels, and squirrels. The Torah, part of the Jewish bible, contains the general principles of keeping Kosher. 

Although it sounds like a difficult diet to follow, Kosher alternatives exist for almost every food you would usually buy. You do not have to be Jewish to consume Kosher products; some people with allergies may find it beneficial to opt for Kosher products as they strictly disclose precisely what the product includes on their food labels.

Foods That Are Not Kosher

Any seafood consumed must have fins and scales, and any land animals must chew their cud (they must eat grass) and have cloven (split) hooves. Birds of prey are strictly forbidden from being eaten. The Torah also states that meat and dairy products should not be eaten together: “do not boil a kid in its mother’s milk” (Exodus 23:19).

What does Halal Mean?

Halal relates to the meat prepared as prescribed by the Muslim Law. In Arabic, Halal means ‘permissible’, contrasted to the word ‘Haram’ (forbidden). 

Halal meat is required to contain no harmful substances such as antibiotics, growth hormones and preservatives. It is believed that animals killed using non-halal methods may have e-coli poisoning. 

Those abiding by the Islamic law may consume halal meat on premises where non-halal meat is stored and prepared, providing it is kept entirely separate and adequate cleaning processes are in place.

Foods that are not Halal

Much like a Kosher diet, a Halal diet restricts the intake of meats such as pork, foods containing or prepared with blood or alcohol and reptiles, birds of prey and carnivorous animals. 

Any animals consumed on a Halal diet must have been fed a natural diet that did not contain animal by-products.

Key differences between the two dietary requirements

While it’s essential to recognise that both diets are followed in line with religious beliefs, there are some notable differences between them.

Butchers producing Kosher meat must be Jewish and understand Jewish laws, whereas Halal diets require the butcher to be Muslim. Before every slaughter, a prayer to Allah is needed when producing Halal meat; however, no prayer is necessary for making Kosher meat. 

Fruits and vegetables are completely fine to consume on both diets; however, Kosher requires no bugs or insects to be present. Those following a Kosher diet can’t eat meat and dairy products together. However, this is permissible in a Halal diet.

Although both diets abide by religious beliefs, there are some noticeable differences between them. It’s crucial to offer alternative options for the individuals that abide by these diets and correctly deliver these to them. 

Local Catering Service With Your Needs In Mind 

To find out more about the healthy office catering Green Bike Food can provide, in line with Halal and Kosher diets, as well as Gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian, to name but a few, please visit our menu to find out more about the food we offer as part of our inclusive catering service.

Equally, please contact us to discuss creating the perfect menu with all dietary requirements catered for.


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