Jakarta (ANTARA) - The COVID-19 outbreak did not stop the process of halal certification for the community that could be served suitably and responsibly, according to the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).

"In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indonesian Ulema Council Food and Drug Analysis Agency (LPPOM MUI) can still serve business practitioners well and be accounted for. We do not want halal certification to stop business in Indonesia," Director of Halal Audit of the Indonesian Ulema Council Food and Drug Analysis Agency (LPPOM MUI) Muti Arintawati informed reporters in Jakarta on Thursday.

Arintawati pointed to proper risk mitigation being applied at the start of the year before the first COVID-19 case was announced in Indonesia. The process of countermeasures began with the number of foreign audits related to halal products.

Even so, Arintawati noted that LPPOM MUI had formed a separate task force in connection with COVID-19, the Coronavirus Crisis Center for public safety, particularly for auditors, employees, and building visitors.

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Along with the work-from-home policy, Arintawati remarked that LPPOM MUI had curtailed activities at the office while the halal certification process was yet being conducted, with the Cerol-SS23000 system still active that allows the public to directly monitor developments pertaining to the halal certification process.

Arintawati pointed out that the LPPOM MUI had also implemented Modified Onsite Audit (MOsA), an audit system on March 19, 2020, that aligns with the current needs.

The audit meets the standards of the National Accreditation Committee (KAN) used for the Halal Assurance System (SJH).

Nevertheless, Arintawati pointed out that not all categories, such as slaughter and gelatin products, can be audited by MOsA.

"In general, the audit can be conducted by MOsA. We will test it in stages. Initially, MOsA can only be applied to products for development and extension. After obtaining the right formula, MOsA is tested for new companies," he explained.

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Reporter: Anom P, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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