FAQ-8: Are Tofutti products Halal?

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8. Are Tofutti products Halal?

All Tofutti cheese products are Halal certified, which includes Tofutti cheese slices, Tofutti Better Than Ricotta Cheese, Better Than Sour Cream, and Better Than Cream Cheese. All other Tofutti foods are not certified Halal.

There is a common misunderstanding about Kosher and Halal. Although there are many similarities between the two, there are some significant differences. In order to better understand both, perhaps it is best to first describe what Halal (“lawful”) is, and that can be done by examining the other side of Halal, or Haram (“unlawful”). Items such as pork or pig products, Halal animals that are not slaughtered according to the Islamic Law and all intoxicants are considered Haram and must be avoided by all Muslims. There are also common ingredients in food and personal care products that also cannot be used or consumed by Muslims. For example: alcohol, ethanol, gin, lard, pepsin, rum, wine and vanilla extract/flavor should be avoided by Muslim consumers when listed on the ingredients list of a product. The next group of ingredients may only be used or consumed if derived from an animal that was Halal Zabihah, or slaughtered according to Islamic law: animal shortening, animal fat, broth (from animals), enzymes (microbial enzymes are okay), gelatin, lipase, rennet, stock, tallow, and whey.

Although many elements are similar, such as not being able to consume pig or pig products, there are two major differences. First, Kosher laws do not require Jews to pronounce the name of G-d at the time of the slaughter of an animal. On the other hand, Muslims are required to recite the name of Allah at the time of slaughter. For this reason, even though all the other elements of slaughtering the animal are basically the same, Muslims are not allowed to consume kosher meat, or any animal product that is from an animal not killed in a Halal manner. The second major difference is that while Jews are allowed to consume many (not all) types of alcohol, Muslims must abstain from all forms of intoxicants, including alcohol.

Although all Tofutti products are Kosher Parve, many of our products would not be considered Halal for two important reasons. First, many of our frozen dessert products use vanilla extract, which is forbidden to Muslims and second, certain of our other flavors are processed (distilled) using grain alcohol, another forbidden substance for Muslims. Even though some of our products would be considered Halal, we have elected not to have them certified as such due to the confusion such certification might cause. Since not all products in a particular facility could be certified Halal for the two reasons listed above, such a certification for individual products might be misinterpreted by some consumers that all our products were Halal. We would never want that to happen. If you are interested in a particular product and want to know if it would be considered Halal without the actual certification, please contact us.

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