In your SABEELUR RASHAAD publication for May 2006, you mentioned that products produced under the fresh express brand are permissible for muslims. The products are then stated. I used to buy this product until I saw “HAM” mentioned in one of their salads. I do not know if this is turkey ham. Please clarify because you also stated that you would not endorse any company that carries pork products.
Also, Angostura is presently promoting a beverage called LLB or lemon lime and bitters which they claim is a non alcoholic drink. If the label on the bottle is read carefully it states that the beverage is made up of a blend of spices and bitters “IN” a sparkling non alcoholic beverage. This to me means that only the beverage without the spices and the bitters is non alcoholic. My understanding is the bitters contains about 40% alcohol. (Angostura might not confirm this as they will claim that it is a secret). Does this make this drink Haraam and if so then the muslim population should be advised on this misleading advertisement.
In our Sabeelur Rashaad Publication May 2006, it did not state that products produced under Fresh Express are permissible for Muslims; this gives an indication to all products. What was stated is, ‘the following products produced under Fresh Express brand are permissible for Muslims.’ After this statement only a few products were mentioned.
It should be noted that we have not certified Fresh Express and have not given them a Certificate of Halaal approval. However, they have asked us to look at their products to see which can be consumed by Muslims and have given a detailed listing of their ingredients for each product. Having gone through all the ingredients of each of their products thoroughly, we have seen that only the listed ones (on the Sabeelur Rashaad) can be consumed by the Muslims.
Note also that ‘Fresh Express’ fell into the category of ‘New products approved as Halaal’ and not ‘New Places certified as Halaal.’
Angostura bitters as well as the LLB are not permissible to consume. These have been highlighted in our ‘Halaal and Haraam in Food and Drinks’ publication of December 2005.
If you wish you can check on our website to view this copy or send your mailing address to us so that we may post it to you.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan
This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.