Halal pizza is a type of pizza that is considered permissible in Islamic dietary law. A set of dietary laws, called halal, delineate what Muslims can eat, according to the tenets of their faith. The category of foods labeled “halal” is set against another category called “haram,” or foods which are prohibited.
In many communities, Muslims make efforts to find specific types of foods that are considered halal. Complex foods like pizza are often more difficult to evaluate, since they include many different kinds of ingredients that can all be either halal or haram. Halal pizza is pizza that only contains halal ingredients, and has not been contaminated with haram ingredients. The halal designation applies to either fresh pizza in a restaurant or pre-prepared frozen products.
The major rules for halal food products have to do with animal products and how they are produced. One primary rule is that Muslims cannot eat pork products. Another rule is that other animals used in halal cooking need to be slaughtered in a very precise way. This adds to the difficulty of selecting halal foods, since many major food producers do not slaughter animals in a halal fashion. Halal slaughtering requires a quick cut to various parts of the animal in order to kill it in a humane way.
One of the primary issues in finding halal pizza options is the ingredients that go into the dough. Even a vegetarian pizza can some types of processed dough that include animal products like lard or fat. This can make pizza haram.
Another issue with halal pizza is the sauce. The tomato sauce used in pizza may or may not contain animal products. Some types of tomato sauce include animal stock, or even small pieces of Italian sausage that may be made from pork. Halal pizza requires a vegetarian sauce, or a a tomato sauce that does not have pork or other haram ingredients.
When selecting halal pizza, Muslims and others who eat halal foods also need to consider the toppings. Pizza is a dish with many optional toppings, and some of these are halal while others are haram. Vegetable toppings are halal unless they have been cross-contaminated. Some of the traditional meat toppings for pizza are not halal, and should not be included on a halal pizza.