Answered by: Alimah Zakiratul Hoque
Can you eat foods that are vegan but contain ethanol or similar alcohol through the packaging? I.e the packaging contains ethanol
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Firstly, there is a difference of opinion regarding what constitutes Khamr, which is Haraam. The preferred opinion of the scholars is that anything which intoxicates in large amounts is considered Khamr, even in small amounts. Imam Abu Hanifah says that anything which is made from grapes, dates (and barely) is considered Haraam. Everything else depends on the amount. (Fath Al Bari, Vol 10, Page 43)
Ethanol and similar alcohol are used in packaging to improve the shelf-life of the products. It does not usually come in contact with the food, and it evaporates once the packaging is open. If it comes into contact with the food, then, according to the preferred opinion, it would not be permissible to consume the product.
الراجح الأول استدل به على أن المتخذ من غير العنب يسمى خمرا … خالف في ذلك الحنفية من قال بقولهم من الكوفيين … فقال في المتخذ من العنب : يحرم القليل منه الكثير إلا إذا طبخ … في المتخذ من غيرها لا يحرم منه إلا القدر الذى يسكر ما دونه لا يحرم
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Alimah Zakiratul Hoque
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham