1,334 eateries get halal certificates
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
A TOTAL of 1,334 restaurant operators in the sultanate have been successful in receiving halal certification, according to the statistics provided by the Halal Food Control section under the Syariah Welfare Department at the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA).
The statistics, recorded from 2008 till February 18, 2016, put the number of certificates issued close to 1400, which includes restaurants, companies, food factories and hotels.
Earlier in 2010, there were only 10 restaurants which had halal certificates: Royal Brunei Catering Airport, Express Royal Brunei Catering at Airport, Seasons Restaurant, RBC Express Café Sungai Tilong, Terindak D’Polo, Terindak D’Seni, Aneka Rasa Restaurant, Ayat Restaurant, Fratini’s Restaurant and Excellent Taste.
Speaking to The Brunei Times yesterday, a Halal Food Control official, Zurina Salwa Hj Osman, said that more halal accreditations have been issued in recent years compared to the past.
She said the highest number of applications they received was in 2014 wherein more than 800 people came to apply for halal accreditation after restaurant owners were required to apply for it in order to get licence approval.
In 2011, the government made it compulsory for restaurants serving halal food and drinks to obtain the certification by December 31, 2013. The prerequisite was effective from January 1, 2012, and was fully enforced on January 1, 2014.
“From the statistics, most of the halal certificates were given to restaurateurs and 150 to food processing factories,” she said, adding that even hotels in the sultanate mostly have received the certificates.
She also explained the procedure to apply for halal certificates, which can take 45 days at the Tekad Pemedulian Orang Ramai (TPOR) or customer-oriented public service.
She said that during the auditing process they need to be cautious and systematic as the context of Halal and Haram cannot be taken carelessly.
“The restaurateurs and food producers are encouraged to apply for the halal certificates or/and halal permits regardless of their race or belief, as long as the restaurants welcome Muslims, there is a need to apply for the certification,” she said.
The Brunei Times