Kosher and halal diets are two common eating patterns based on the principles of Jewish and Islamic laws, respectively.
Both kosher and halal diets set strict guidelines regarding which foods are allowed and restricted based on religious teachings.
However, many people are unsure about how exactly these two diets differ from each other.
This article takes a closer look at some of the key similarities and differences between halal and kosher diets.
Kosher is a term used to describe foods prepared in accordance with traditional Jewish dietary laws.
Several specific food combinations are prohibited on a kosher diet, and only certain animal products may be eaten (1).
On the other hand, the term halal is used to describe foods that are permitted under Islamic law as defined by the Quran, which is the religious text of Islam.
Halal diets set strict guidelines regarding how livestock is raised, slaughtered, and prepared prior to consumption (
Some foods are labeled as certified kosher or certified halal, which means that they adhere to the rules set by each diet.
Kosher foods are prepared in accordance with traditional Jewish laws. Halal foods are ingredients permitted under Islamic law, as defined by the Quran.
On a kosher diet, foods are grouped into three categories: meat (fleishig), dairy products (milchig), and pareve, which refers to ingredients without meat or dairy.
Under kosher guidelines, any foods classified as meat cannot be consumed at the same meal as foods classified as dairy (
Furthermore, utensils and cooking equipment used to prepare meat and dairy should be kept separate.
Halal diets, on the other hand, do not have any rules or regulations regarding food combinations.
On a kosher diet, foods classified as meat cannot be served at the same meal as foods classified as dairy. Halal diets don’t have any rules regarding food pairings.
Certain foods are off-limits on both halal and kosher diets.
Halal diets prohibit foods that contain blood, alcohol and foods prepared with it, and certain types of meat, including pork, most reptiles, birds of prey, and carnivorous animals (
Similarly, certain types of meat are restricted on a kosher diet, including meat from pigs, horses, rabbits, kangaroos, camels, and squirrels.
Fish without fins and scales, such as shellfish, and predatory or scavenger birds like hawks and eagles are also off-limits.
Additionally, the hindquarters of cattle are often not considered kosher. That includes certain cuts of beef like the flank, sirloin, round, and shank steaks (4).
Halal diets restrict alcohol, pork, foods that contain blood, and meat from certain types of animals. Kosher diets also limit pork, shellfish, and meat from specific animals and animal parts.
Both halal and kosher diets have guidelines regarding how meat should be slaughtered prior to consumption.
For meat to be considered kosher, it must be butchered by a shohet, which is a person trained to slaughter animals in accordance with Jewish laws.
Meats must also be soaked to ensure that all blood is removed before cooking (
Under halal guidelines, animals must be healthy at the time of slaughter and killed using a specific method, which involves cutting the jugular vein.
At the time of slaughter, the name of Allah must also be invoked for a meat to be considered halal (
In some cases, kosher-certified meat may be accepted as halal due to the similarities in slaughtering practices.
Kosher meat must be butchered by a shohet and soaked before cooking. Halal meat must be butchered in a specific way and healthy at the time of slaughter. The name of Allah must also be invoked for meat to be considered halal.
Kosher and halal diets set strict guidelines regarding which foods are permitted in accordance with Jewish and Islamic laws, respectively.
Both diets have specific rules regarding the slaughtering of animals, and both also restrict certain types of meat.
However, halal diets prohibit other foods, including foods that contain alcohol or blood, while kosher diets limit specific food pairings.