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Halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted. The opposite of halal is haram, which means unlawful or prohibited. While the term is used in relation to many aspects of life, when specifically used in relationship to food, halal refers to any food product that is not prohibited. In reference to meat products, halal means that the animal was slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines, which include reciting God’s name over the animal before slaughter and draining all the blood from the animal. This practice is similar to the guidelines set by Jewish law that classify meat prepared in this manner as kosher It is common to find halal butcher shops or restaurants in most major cities in the U.S.

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